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

Listed author(s):
  • Jeroen Horemans
  • Ive Marx
Registered author(s):

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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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
Handle: RePEc:hdl:improv:1314
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  1. 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.
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  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Henning Lohmann, 2008. "The Working Poor in European Welfare States: Empirical Evidence from a Multilevel Perspective," Chapters,in: The Working Poor in Europe, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  8. Eichhorst, Werner & Hemerijck, Anton, 2008. "Welfare and Employment: A European Dilemma?," IZA Discussion Papers 3870, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. Piet Allaart, 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, October.
  11. Henning Lohmann & Ive Marx, 2008. "The Different Faces of In-Work Poverty Across Welfare State Regimes," Chapters,in: The Working Poor in Europe, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  12. 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.
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