Friday, 28 December 2012

Can higher employment levels bring down relative income poverty in the EU? Regression-based simulations of the Europe 2020 target

an article by Ive Marx, Pieter Vandenbroucke and Gerlinde Verbist (University of Antwerp, Belgium) published in Journal of European Social Policy Volume 22 Number 5 (December 2012)


At the European level and in most EU member states, higher employment levels are seen as key to better poverty outcomes.

What can we expect the actual impact to be, however?

Up until now shift-share analysis has been used to estimate the impact of rising employment on relative income poverty. This method has serious limitations.

We propose a more sophisticated simulation model that builds on regression-based estimates of employment probabilities and wages. We use this model to estimate the impact on relative income poverty of moving towards the Europe 2020 target of 75 percent of the working-age population in work.

Two sensitivity checks are included:
  • giving priority in job allocation to jobless households and
  • imputing low instead of estimated wages.
This article shows that employment growth does not necessarily result in lower relative poverty shares, a result that is largely consistent with observed outcomes over the past decade.

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