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The Welfare State in EuropeEconomic and Social Perspectives$
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Pierre Pestieau and Mathieu Lefebvre

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817055.001.0001

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Poverty and Inequality

Poverty and Inequality

(p.11) 2 Poverty and Inequality
The Welfare State in Europe

Pierre Pestieau

Mathieu Lefebvre

Oxford University Press

This chapter is about the state of inequality and poverty in Europe. We observe differences in poverty rates and income inequality across European countries. At the one extreme, there are the Benelux and Nordic countries with little poverty and small inequalities. At the other extreme, there is a mixed group consisting of Southern, Eastern, and Anglo- Saxon countries. Changes in poverty and inequality over time have been rather small. A number of reliable signals, such as aging and restrictive public finance point to an increase of poverty and inequality in the near future. Finally, we show that beyond the traditional social polarization based on income and wealth, there is a deeper and multicausal divide that represents the most serious challenge to our welfare states.

Keywords:   equivalence scale, Gini coefficient, Lorenz curve, populism, poverty line, poverty rate, regression

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