THE WORKING POOR: TOO LOW WAGE OR TOO MANY KIDS?

Authors

  • Síle Pádraigín O'Dorchai Département d'Economie Appliquée of the Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Danièle Meulders Département d'Economie Appliquée of the Université Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract

The “in-work at-risk-of-poverty rate” is a European indicator that is based on a series of assumptions rarely questioned although with particularly strong consequences for the calculation of the in-work poverty risk and for the design of policies to combat it. The purpose of this paper is to show the volatility in the measured proportions of working poor according to different methodological choices in terms of the unit of analysis, the measure of income and the population of workers. In a country-specific econometric analysis we show the differential impact of individual characteristics, the household structure and employment-related factors on the in-work poverty risk according to whether individual or equivalised household income is used to measure this risk. Our analysis covers 8 European countries and is based on 2007 data from the European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions.

Author Biographies

Síle Pádraigín O'Dorchai, Département d'Economie Appliquée of the Université Libre de Bruxelles

Síle O’Dorchai has been researcher at the Département d’Economie Appliquée of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (DULBEA) since 2001. Since 2009, she is senior lecturer/assistant professor at the ULB. In 1997, she obtained a masters degree in Slavic Studies at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, in 2001 one in Economics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and in 2007 she finished her doctoral thesis entitled “Family, Work and Welfare States in Europe: Women’s Juggling with Multiple Roles”. Her main research interests are in the fields of labour economics, gender economics (with a particular interest in gender gaps in employment and wages), household and population economics. Her research addresses the issue of the individualisation of income and poverty measures, an issue that is central to studying the situation of the working poor throughout Europe. She also analyses the influence of public policies on the work/life balance. Her teaching focuses on the social economy or the non-profit sector (collective bargaining, employment policies, socio-economic challenges, and so forth). Besides numerous research reports, she published scientific articles in Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Feminist Economics, Transfer, International Journal of Manpower, etc.

Danièle Meulders, Département d'Economie Appliquée of the Université Libre de Bruxelles

Danièle Meulders is full professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles where she heads the research unit on labour economics at the Department of applied economics (DULBEA). She is also Guest Professor at the University of Geneva. Her research interests are in the field of labour economics (evaluation of employment and family policies, women on the labour market, the European Employment Strategy, and so forth), in the field of public economics (tax competition, fiscal fraud, and so forth), in the field of social protection (redistributive and macro-economic effects, comparison of social and tax systems across Europe, and so forth) and in the field of income (re-)distribution and poverty. She is member of the EGGE network of the DG Employment since the early ‘90s. She is co-director of the Groupement de recherche du CNRS – Marché du travail et genre en Europe (MAGE).

Published

2019-12-09