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Welfare Regime and Social Class Variation in Poverty and Economic Vulnerability in Europe: An Analysis of EU-SILC

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Author Info

  • Christopher T. Whelan

    (School of Sociology and Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Bertrand Maître

    (Economic and Social Research Institute)

Abstract

In this paper we address a set of interrelated issues. These comprise increasing concerns about reliance on nationally based income poverty measures in the context of EU-enlargement, the relative merits of one dimensional versus multidimensional approaches to poverty and social exclusion and the continuing relevance of class based explanations of life chances. Identifying economically vulnerable groups we find that, contrary to the situation with national income poverty measures, levels of vulnerability vary systematically across welfare regimes. The multidimensional profile of the economically vulnerable sharply differentiates them from the remainder of the population. While they are also characterised by distinctively higher levels of multiple deprivation, a substantial majority of the economically vulnerable are not exposed to such deprivation. Unlike the national relative income approach, the focus on economic vulnerability reveals a pattern of class differentiation that is not dominated by the contrast between the self-employed and all others. In contrast to a European-wide relative income approach, it also simultaneously captures the fact that absolute levels of vulnerability are distinctively higher among the lower social classes in the less comprehensive and generous welfare regimes while class relativities are significantly sharper at the other end of the spectrum.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201010.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201010.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201010

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Keywords: economic vulnerability; poverty; social exclusion; welfare regimes; social class; multiple deprivation;

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  1. Adam Carle & Kurt Bauman & Kathleen Short, 2009. "Assessing the Measurement and Structure of Material Hardship in the United States," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 92(1), pages 35-51, May.
  2. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-40 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Birčiaková, Naďa & Antošová, Veronika & Stávková, Jana, 2013. "Has the level of achieved education affected the income of Czech households," MPRA Paper 48846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Calvert, E. (Emma) & Brian Nolan, 2012. "GINI DP 68: Material Deprivation in Europe," GINI Discussion Papers 68, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  3. Christopher T. Whelan & Bertrand Maitre, 2011. "Identifying Childhood Deprivation: How Well do National Indicators of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Ireland Perform?," Working Papers 201121, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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