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In-work poverty in times of crisis: do part-timers fare worse?

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  • Jeroen Horemans
  • Ive Marx
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Abstract

Part-time work has structurally increased across Europe. The recent crisis period has brought additional increases in many countries, especially in involuntary part-time employment. This paper considers the link between part-time work and poverty, taking a comparative perspective across the EU15. The extent to which part-time work is associated with poverty varies considerably, far more so than for full-time workers. Involuntary part-time work clearly stands out as most problematic although an increased poverty risk is not confined to that segment of part-time work. Part-time work for care reasons also carries a higher poverty risk in some countries. It is most problematic in countries where demand and supply side related factors reinforce each other so as to make part-time work an inferior choice from the perspective of preferred working hours, earnings and employment security. Moreover, part-timers sometimes face a ‘double income penalty’ in that they are more likely to have lower earnings and reduced eligibility for certain social transfers. However, there is again considerable cross-country variation in this respect. In some countries actually the reverse is the case and part-timers are in effect more likely to receive social transfers, while being in employment, improving their post-transfer poverty position in a significant way. Taken together, the paper shows that the regulatory drivers shaping part-time work and the welfare state arrangements supporting, or failing to support part-time work play key roles in accounting for the wide variation in poverty risks associated with part-time work across the EU15.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp in its series ImPRovE Working Papers with number 13/14.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hdl:improv:1314

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Keywords: in-work poverty; part-time work; tax benefit systems; EU15; EU-SILC;

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  1. Jérôme De Henau & Danièle Meulders & Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2007. "Support for market care: comparing child cash and tax benefits," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9299, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Booth, Alison L. & van Ours, Jan C., 2010. "Part-Time Jobs: What Women Want?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Piet Allaart & Lutz Bellmann, 2007. "Reasons for part-time work: an empirical analysis for Germany and The Netherlands," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(7), pages 557-570, November.
  4. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Mourre, Gilles & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2004. "The Determinants of Part-Time Work in EU Countries: Empirical Investigations with Macro-Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1361, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Janine Leschke, 2007. "Are unemployment insurance systems in Europe adapting to new risks arising from non-standard employment?," DULBEA Working Papers 07-05.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Henning Lohmann, 2008. "Welfare States, Labour Market Institutions and the Working Poor: A Comparative Analysis of 20 European Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 776, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Barbara Petrongolo, 2004. "Gender Segregation in Employment Contracts," CEP Discussion Papers dp0637, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Annette Walling & Gareth Clancy, 2010. "Underemployment in the UK labour market," Economic and Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(2), pages 16-24, February.
  9. Joris Ghysels & Wim Van Lancker, 2010. "The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children," Working Papers 1008, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  10. Eichhorst, Werner & Hemerijck, Anton, 2008. "Welfare and Employment: A European Dilemma?," IZA Discussion Papers 3870, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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