It is important to note that the at-risk-of-poverty rate is a relative measure of poverty and that the poverty threshold varies greatly between EU Member States. Among the EU Member States, in , at-risk-of-poverty rates after social transfers equal to or greater than The lowest rates were in Slovakia The at risk of poverty rate after social transfers increased by 1 pp or more in Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Lithuania in , compared with the previous year.
It should be noted that in the case of the United Kingdom, there was a break in series year Elsewhere, increases were observed in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Netherlands and Denmark 0. The largest decreases in the at-risk-of-poverty rate between and , above 1 pp, were in Greece and Ireland -1 pp each , Hungary The at-risk-of-poverty rate before social transfers presents a slightly different picture from the analysis after transfers.
The at-risk-of-poverty rate before social transfers measures a hypothetical situation where social transfers are absent pensions not being considered as a social transfer. Comparing it with the standard at-risk-of-poverty rate after social transfers shows that such transfers have an important redistributive effect that helps to reduce the number of people who are at risk of poverty.
The at-risk-of-poverty rate before social transfers fell 0. The at-risk-of-poverty rate before social transfers decreased in 18 of the EU Member States between and and remained unchanged in two. The largest decrease was registered in Ireland where it fell by Increases of 1. Along with changes in the distribution of income, at-risk-of-poverty rates may change because of changes in the poverty threshold. Substantial increases were also observed in Turkey To put fluctuations in poverty thresholds into perspective and to avoid misleading results in periods of rapid and general economic change, Eurostat also calculates an at-risk-of-poverty indicator anchored in time.
This indicator keeps the poverty threshold fixed, in real terms, over a multi-annual period and thereby removes the effects of a moving poverty threshold. The at-risk-of-poverty rate anchored in time provides complementary information, as it provides a longer-term perspective of the developments of monetary poverty, in particular when median income decreases. Figure 4 presents the at-risk-of-poverty rates for and anchored in , where the results indicate that between and , decreases were reported in all the EU Member States, most notably in Romania In , the share of persons aged years living in households with very low work intensity decreased in 24 EU Member States.
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Work intensity refers to the ratio between the number of months that household members of working age years, not being a student aged worked during the income reference year and the total number of months that the same household members could theoretically have worked. For persons who declared that they worked part-time, the number of months in terms of full-time equivalents is estimated on the basis of the number of hours usually worked at the time of the interview.
Just less than one tenth 9. In , the Member States with the highest proportion of households with very low work intensity were Ireland In , compared with , the share of persons aged years living in households with very low work intensity decreased in 24 EU Member States, most strongly in Spain In Estonia, no change was observable, while in Austria, Luxembourg, Sweden and Latvia increases of 0.
Material deprivation rates complement information on social exclusion by providing an estimate of the proportion of people whose living conditions are severely affected by a lack of resources. The severe material deprivation rate represents the proportion of people who cannot afford at least four of the nine following items:. In the EU, 6. The share of those severely materially deprived varied significantly among EU Member States, ranging from less than 2.
Of all the reporting countries, the highest severe material deprivation rate was recorded in Turkey While the EU severe material deprivation rate decreased by 0. While there was no change in the severe material deprivation rate between and in the Netherlands, the rate fell in 24 Member States, with the decrease exceeding 2. One of the material deprivation items is facing unexpected expenses. This item measures the ability of a household to cover — from their own resources — an unexpected expense amounting to one twelfth of the poverty threshold.
Gallie and S. Paugam eds , Oxford Univerity Press, Oxford, Nolan, in K. Vlaemincx and T. Smeeding eds. Marx and B. Nolan, in M. Gregory, W. Salverda and S. Bazen eds. Whelan, in D.
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Paugam eds. Nolan, New Economy , 6 1 , , Nolan, in S. Bazen, M. Gregory and W. Salverda eds. Nolan, C. Whelan and J. Walsh and D. Pringle eds. Callan, B. Nolan, J. Walsh and R. Nestor in C. Kearney ed. Nolan, in F. Barry ed. Dixon and D. Macarow eds. Nolan, in C. Lucifora and W. Nolan and J. These two covariates are, however, relatively unimportant for the three Western countries.
Articles – Tony Atkinson
Of course, hukou is also important in China, accounting for 18 per cent of the between-variance for China as a whole, and 15 per cent for urban China. Our objective in this article is to provide a detailed description of the patterns of income mobility in China, and to compare them with the patterns found in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
To this end, we analyze nationally representative household panel data from these four countries. We show that China has a higher level of income inequality than the United States which, in turn, is more unequal than the United Kingdom or Germany.
Reporting on Income Distribution and Poverty
We then show that income mobility is also at a much higher level in China than in the three Western countries. As mobility has an income-equalizing effect, snapshot measures of income inequality overstate the true level of inequality in China to a greater degree. Having said that, even after we have taken into account the impact of income mobility, permanent income is still more unequally distributed in China than in the West.
But the opposite is true for China, suggesting that the average Chinese face a much higher degree of income instability and uncertainty.
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When it comes to predicting who has higher or lower income, education is an important predictor everywhere. But there are interesting cross-national differences too. Employment status, the earners-to-household-size ratio and, to some degree, marital status are important predictors for the between-individual differences in disposable income in the West. What matters for China, however, are the urban—rural contrast, region, and hukou , i. Despite the massive social change in China over the last thirty years, there is loud echo from the past.
The many differences between China and the three Western countries that we report in this paper call for further systematic investigation that is beyond the scope of this article. But we finish by offering some comments on the high level of income instability in China. We believe that this is related to broader changes in the Chinese labour market. Under Mao, employment was for life, and job mobility was very rare Davis, Moreover, the wages of urban workers were extremely stable, so much so that the respondents of a — survey are said to be able to recall accurately their wages as far back as Zhou, But, as noted above, state-owned and collective enterprises are in sharp decline.
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Taking their place are various forms of non-state enterprises, e. As state-owned enterprises come under competitive pressure from the less regulated non-state firms, they clamour for greater autonomy to set wages and employment conditions. Finally, many of the million plus migrant workers are willing to work with less employment protection than urban workers used to have.
Park and Cai estimate that up to 39 per cent of urban workers are informally or casually employed, meaning that they do not have an employment contract. Given this, it would be useful to examine the changing labour market and employment practices in China. For example, a comparative analysis of the work history of individuals would reveal whether Chinese change jobs more often or face higher unemployment risks than their counterparts in the West. Or do Chinese experience greater income instability even when they have stayed in the same job?
These are promising questions to explore in future papers.
His main research interests include social stratification and mobility, family and the life course, and the sociology of cultural consumption.