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Poverty And Worklessness In Britain

  • Stephen Nickell

Relative poverty in the UK has risen massively since 1979 mainly because of increasing worklessness, rising earnings dispersion and benefits indexed to prices, not wages. The economic force underlying this is the significant shift in demand against the unskilled. This has substantially weakened the low-skill labour market which has increased both pay dispersion and worklessness, particularly among low-skilled men. Practical policies discussed include improving education and overall well-being for children in the lower part of the ability range, raising wage floors, New Deal policies, tax credits and benefits for the workless. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 114 (2004)
Issue (Month): 494 (03)
Pages: C1-C25

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:114:y:2004:i:494:p:c1-c25
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  1. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning & Lupin Rahman, 2002. "Where the Minimum Wage Bites Hard: the Introduction of the UK National Minimum Wage to a Low Wage Sector," CEP Discussion Papers dp0544, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Dickens & David T. Ellwood, 2004. "Whither Poverty in Great Britain and the United States? The Determinants of Changing Poverty and Whether Work Will Work," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 313-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "A picture of European unemployment: success and failure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20039, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Desjonqueres, Thibaut & Machin, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 1999. " Another Nail in the Coffin? Or Can the Trade Based Explanation of Changing Skill Structures Be Resurrected?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 533-54, December.
  5. Richard Dickens & Alan Manning, 2002. "Has The National Minimum Wage Reduced UK Wage Inequality?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0533, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Prais,S. J., 1995. "Productivity, Education and Training," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521556675, june. pag.
  7. Julia Whitburn, 2002. "Mathematical Attainments in Primary Schooling: Raising Standards and Reducing Diversity," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 179(1), pages 64-75, January.
  8. Sheldon Danziger & Jane Waldfogel, 2000. "Investing in Children: What do we know? What should we do?," CASE Papers case34, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  9. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Paul R. Krugman, 1994. "Past and prospective causes of high unemployment," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Jan, pages 49-98.
  11. Howard Glennerster, 2002. "United Kingdom Education 1997--2001," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 120-136, June.
  12. Stewart, Mark B., 2002. "The Impact of the Introduction of the UK Minimum Wage on the Employment Probabilities of Low Wage Workers," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 169, Royal Economic Society.
  13. Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
  14. Stephen Nickell & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "The Consequences of The Decline in Public Sector Pay in Britain: A Little Bit of Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages F107-F118, February.
  15. Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), January.
  16. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Cross-Country Inequality Trends," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F121-F149, February.
  17. Eric A. Hanushek, 2002. "The Failure of Input-based Schooling Policies," NBER Working Papers 9040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dan Devroye & Richard B. Freeman, 2002. "Does inequality in skills explain inequality of earnings across advanced countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20058, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  19. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F34-F63, February.
  20. John Van Reenen, 2004. "Active Labor Market Policies and the British New Deal for the Young Unemployed in Context," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 461-496 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Paul Gregg & Susan Harkness, 2003. "Welfare Reform and Lone Parents Employment in the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/072, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  22. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  23. Nickell, Stephen & Bell, Brian, 1996. "Changes in the Distribution of Wages and Unemployment in OECD Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 302-08, May.
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