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The EU 2020 Poverty Target

  • Brian Nolan

    (School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

  • Christopher T Whelan

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

As part of its 2020 Strategy adopted in 2010, the EU has set a number of headline targets including one for poverty reduction over the next decade. This is a major development in the role accorded to social inclusion in the EU, and thus very important at the level of principle. However, the specific way the target itself has been framed, and the implications for approaches to implementing it, also merit careful consideration. The population identified in framing the target is persons in the member states either below a country-specific relative income poverty threshold, above a material deprivation threshold, or in a “jobless” household. This paper presents an in-depth analysis and critique of the way that target is formulated on both conceptual and empirical grounds and documents the consequence for our understanding of both cross-national and socio-economic patterning of poverty. The paper concludes with a discussion of alternative approaches to combining low income and material deprivation to identify those most in need from a poverty reduction perspective.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201111.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201111.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 22 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201111
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  1. Nolan, Brian & Whelan, Christopher T., 2011. "Poverty and Deprivation in Europe," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199588435.
  2. FUSCO Alessio & GUIO Anne-Catherine & MARLIER Eric, 2011. "Income poverty and material deprivation in European countries," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-04, LISER.
  3. Atkinson, Tony & Cantillon, Bea & Marlier, Eric & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199253494.
  4. Christopher T. Whelan & Brian Nolan & Bertrand Maitre, 2008. "Measuring Material Deprivation in the Enlarged EU," Papers WP249, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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