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Poverty and Deprivation in Europe$
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Brian Nolan and Christopher T. Whelan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588435.001.0001

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Income Poverty and Deprivation in an Enlarged Europe

Income Poverty and Deprivation in an Enlarged Europe

(p.54) 4 Income Poverty and Deprivation in an Enlarged Europe
Poverty and Deprivation in Europe

Brian Nolan

Christopher T. Whelan

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the following questions: Why is relying entirely on income increasingly seen as problematic? How do patterns of income poverty and deprivation compare with each other? What light do these patterns shed on the way poverty should be measured? It starts by describing the conventional approach to setting and employing income poverty lines framed in relative terms, with average or median income in the country in question as the point of reference. It presents the patterns of poverty this approach produces for the countries of the EU, and discusses their interpretation and robustness. It then provides an alternative perspective on poverty in Europe by making use of the information on non-monetary indicators of deprivation obtained by the European Community Household Panel and the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. It constructs summary deprivation indices employing these indicators, and describes the patterns of deprivation across countries that these display. These can then be contrasted with income-based poverty measures. It asks whether it is reliance on income per se, rather than the choice of income poverty thresholds, that needs to be questioned. It discusses why the overlap between low income and deprivation is relatively weak, and teases out the implications.

Keywords:   European Union, non-monetary indicators, European Community Household Panel, living conditions, deprivation indices, income-based poverty measures

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