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The working poor: a comparative analysis


  • Gundogan, Naci
  • Bicerli, Mustafa Kemal
  • Aydin, Ufuk


Recently, there is growing debate in developed countries on the issue of the working poor. Poverty is a phenomenon traditionally associated with economically inactive persons such as the homeless, the unemployed or the handicapped. The changing of work patterns and a growing polarisation in the labour market between low or unskilled work and high-skilled work have created new poverty risks amongst the employed population. As a result of this trend, the concept of the ‘working poor’, which gained ground in the United States in the 1970s, has become increasingly applicable to labour market realities in the world. Today, there are around 550 million person who can be classified as the working poor in the world. In other words, one in every five persons in labour force belongs to a poor household. While the problem of working poverty is broadly discussed in the USA, a limited number of studies exist on this issue in the EU and in Turkey. In this paper, this reality will be emphasized and the situation in the USA, in the EU and in Turkey will be compared.

Suggested Citation

  • Gundogan, Naci & Bicerli, Mustafa Kemal & Aydin, Ufuk, 2005. "The working poor: a comparative analysis," MPRA Paper 5096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5096

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nomaan MAJID, 2001. "The working poor in developing countries," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 140(3), pages 271-291, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mustafa Kemal, Bicerli & Naci, Gundogan, 2009. "Female Labor Force Participation in Urbanization Process: The Case of Turkey," MPRA Paper 18249, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Orlando Enrique Contreras & Aura Cecilia Pedraza Avella & Carolina Herrera Gómez, 2015. "La inclusión social de la fuerza laboral en Colombia. ¿En contravía de lo sostenible?," REVISTA APUNTES DEL CENES, UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGOGICA Y TECNOLOGICA DE COLOMBIA, vol. 34(60), pages 131-152, December.
    3. Gundogan, Naci & Bicerli, Mustafa Kemal, 2009. "Urbanization and Labor Market Informality in Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 18247, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    poverty; the working poor; labour market;

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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