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GINI DP 5: Household Joblessness and its Impacts on Poverty and Deprivation in Europe

  • Marloes Graaf-zijl

    ()

    (Sector 3 Groei, Kennis en Structuur, Centraal Planbureau)

  • Brian Nolan

    ()

    (School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

Working-age households where no-one is in work have become an increasing focus of policy concern even before the economic crisis, and the EU has included household joblessness in its new poverty reduction target for 2020. This paper focuses on the variation across EU countries in the prevalence of household joblessness and its impact on income poverty and deprivation, and on the implications for the new EU poverty reduction target. It brings out fi rst that there are some divergences across key data sources in the extent of joblessness. The prevalence of household joblessness varies substantially across EU countries, but there is little evidence of a consistent pattern among groupings of countries often categorised together in terms of welfare regime or geographically. In aggregate there is little association between the overall extent of household joblessness in a country and the percentage in relative income poverty or above a material deprivation threshold. At micro level, being in a jobless household has a substantial impact on the likelihood of being in relative income poverty or deprived, but the scale of these impacts is shown to be very much greater in some countries than in others, and to vary between single-adult and multiple-adult households. In most EU countries little more than half the working age adults in jobless households are either income poor or deprived, so including joblessness in the poverty reduction target does make a difference, without a clearly-articulated rationale.

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Paper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series GINI Discussion Papers with number 5.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:5
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  1. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2005. "Employment Polarisation in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 336-350, December.
  2. Peter Whiteford & Willem Adema, 2007. "What Works Best in Reducing Child Poverty: A Benefit or Work Strategy?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 51, OECD Publishing.
  3. Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2004. "Reconciling workless measures at the individual and household level: theory and evidence from the United States, Britain, Germany, Spain and Australia," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19954, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Stephen Nickell, 2004. "Poverty And Worklessness In Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages C1-C25, 03.
  5. Tyra Ekhaugen, 2009. "Extracting the causal component from the intergenerational correlation in unemployment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 97-113, January.
  6. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-72, July.
  7. Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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