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Reconciling Work and Poverty ReductionHow Successful Are European Welfare States?$
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Bea Cantillon and Frank Vandenbroucke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926589

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926589.001.0001

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In-Work Poverty

In-Work Poverty

Chapter:
(p.131) 4 In-Work Poverty
Source:
Reconciling Work and Poverty Reduction
Author(s):

Cheryl B. Torsney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926589.003.0004

This chapter surveys the phenomenon of in-work poverty across Europe, setting the scene for its main focus: how can policy respond? International trade and skill-biased technological change are seen to be threatening the (potential) earnings of workers while at the same time policy in many countries has become focused on increasing the number of people in work. There thus exists legitimate ground for concern that more workers potentially find themselves in jobs that do not generate sufficient income to escape poverty. It is argued that which policy action, or set of policy actions, is most appropriate, cannot be seen as entirely independent from normative notions that underlie the various ways in which the causes of in-work poverty can be construed. The chapter considers relevant policy strategies, including the maximization of work-intensity, minimum wage setting, direct income supplements and tax credits.

Keywords:   in-work poverty, minimum wage, tax credits, child benefits

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