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Counting the PoorNew Thinking About European Poverty Measures and Lessons for the United States$
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Douglas J. Besharov and Kenneth A. Couch

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860586

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860586.001.0001

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Income Indicators for the EU’s Social Inclusion Strategy

Income Indicators for the EU’s Social Inclusion Strategy

(p.59) 3 Income Indicators for the EU’s Social Inclusion Strategy
Counting the Poor

Isabelle Maquet

David Stanton

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the income indicators used in the social inclusion strategy used by the European Union (EU). It considers the strength of the way in which we measure poverty and make use of the portfolio of agreed indicators, and looks at other supplementary ways of understanding the differences in the number of people living on low incomes. It concludes that the adoption and use of income indicators together with the successful launch of a comparable database across the EU-27 and beyond to Turkey, Iceland, Switzerland, and Norway is a major achievement. Although a newly adopted indicator of material deprivation reflects better the geography of poverty across Europe, the at-risk-of-poverty rate relating to the national median income remains the most pertinent indicator to monitor the overall impact of social policies that are conducted at the national level, such as redistribution and employment policies. Investing further in the development of sound analytical frameworks is crucial to ensure that the EU indicators are used in policy making.

Keywords:   European Union, income indicators, social inclusion, poverty measurement, low incomes

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