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Employment and the Working Poor

Abstract : While the bulk of the working poor - and the poor - live in developing and emerging countries, it is in wealthy countries, where there are almost no working poor according to the World Bank absolute poverty threshold, that working poverty has been construed as a specific social issue. This reflects that, in rich countries, working poverty is considered as a paradox: those who work (enough) should be able to avoid poverty. Yet working enough is not systematically sufficient to escape poverty. But in the first place, both the notions of “working” and “poverty” raise conceptual and measurement issue. The chapter starts with a look at the diversity of statistical definitions which reflects both conceptual issues and national specificities in the labor market functioning and social protection systems. It then proposes an assessment of the factors impacting on working poverty both at individual and household level, before turning to public policies aimed at “making work pay” to reduce poverty – including minimum wage, inwork benefits and activation policies.
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Contributor : Jérôme Gautié <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 10:52:53 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:29 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-01301803, version 1



Jérôme Gautié, Sophie Ponthieux. Employment and the Working Poor. David Brady; Linda Burton. Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Poverty, Oxford University Press, 2016. ⟨halshs-01301803⟩



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