- Reconciling work and poverty reduction: how successful are European welfare states?
- Number of pages
- Oxford: Oxford University Press
- International policy exchange series
- Document type
- Book editing
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Since the beginning of the great recession, poverty has, not unexpectedly, increased in many Member States of the European Union. More worrying in view of its structural implications is the observation that in the years before the financial crisis, in most European countries poverty rates for the non-elderly population have stagnated or even increased, in spite of economic growth and rising employment. This suggests limitations that are inherent to employment-centred welfare reform and downward pressures on the redistributive capacity of welfare states. The book focuses on links between poverty trends, patterns of labour market participation and social redistribution. The analyses hinge upon the distribution of jobs over households, by distinguishing work-poor and work-rich households. With regard to the redistributive role of welfare states, the traditional ‘pre-post approach’ is augmented with regression analyses and indicators that reflect the impact of policies. The book also presents a refined method of measuring the redistributive effect of social expenditure, particularly for in-kind benefits. Due consideration is given to concepts, measurement and data: when relevant and feasible micro-simulation, alternative surveys and additional indicators are used. The empirical observations with reference to the impact of employment-centred welfare reforms on poverty are linked with a broader perspective on the socio-economic, demographic and paradigmatic evolutions in contemporary welfare states. The book highlights the importance of social redistribution per se and the necessity to study the impact of social spending on poverty.
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