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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 September 2021

Accounting for Employee Benefits

Accounting for Employee Benefits

(p.143) 7 Accounting for Employee Benefits
Counting the Poor

Neil Gilbert

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the different types of noncash benefits that can accompany employment, their share in total compensation, and the likely impact of including them in the measurement of resources available for consumption. The first two sections review the relatively clear-cut data, which show that: employee benefits have come to form an increasingly significant part of remuneration, accounting for a higher proportion of the costs of hourly compensation in Europe than in the United States; and these benefits tend to disproportionately favor those already earning high incomes. The next two sections turn to the thorny questions of exactly what benefits to count and how to value them for inclusion in measures of poverty and inequality. The concluding section examines some of the broader implications for the treatment of functionally equivalent social benefits. This analysis draws on the BLS series on employee benefits for production workers in manufacturing to illustrate measurement issues.

Keywords:   noncash benefits, employment benefits, compensation, remuneration, poverty, inequality

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