Making work pay - A conceptual paper: Research note 3/2016 by Manos Matsaganis and Francesco Figari (2016) Boosting the incomes of poor families while simultaneously enhancing the incentive to take up a job (if currently out of work), or to work longer hours (if currently employed part-time), is a key policy goal in Europe and beyond. This conceptual paper explains how work incentives may be measured, describes the main features of (and the issues raised by) in-work benefits, and outlines the potential contribution of the European tax-benefit model EUROMOD to further research on work incentives and in-work benefits in EU member states.
Investing in children - Breaking the cycle of disadvantage - A study of national policies: Cyprus (2016) Investing in children - Breaking the cycle of disadvantage - A study of national policies: Cyprus
EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion. Study of national policies - Czech Republic (2016) EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion. Study of national policies - Czech Republic
EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion: Study of national policies - Denmark (2016) EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion: Study of national policies - Denmark
EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion: Study of national policies - Estonia (2016) EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion: Study of national policies - Estonia
Investing in children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage - A study of national policies: Ireland (2016)
The interaction between minimum wages, income support, and poverty - Research note 10/2015 by Manos Matsaganis, Márton Medgyesi and Alexandros Karakitsios (2015) Minimum wages have emerged as a key policy issue in several countries in Europe (for example, in Germany and Italy) and beyond (for example, in the US). Furthermore, at EU level, discussions on a common European benchmark have gained momentum since European Commission President J.-C. Juncker came out in favour of an EU minimum wage as an essential component of the European Social Model. This Research Note attempts to throw light on the interaction between minimum wages, income support, and poverty. It focuses on two closely connected aspects of this issue. On the one hand, the latest EU-SILC data is used to examine the relationship between low wages and poverty, looking at the individual characteristics and household circumstances of those workers earning less than 50% of average hourly wages. On the other hand, the European tax-benefit model EUROMOD is deployed to simulate the effects on poverty of raising national minimum wages to that threshold (i.e. 50% of average hourly wages), taking into account interactions with social assistance and other tax-benefit policies, and assuming no negative impact on employment or behavioural effects. The main finding is that raising minimum wages to that level would have at best modest effects in terms of poverty reduction, though better coordination of minimum wages with other tax-benefit policies, and in particular with in-work benefits, could improve overall anti-poverty performance.
The characteristics of workers on low wages - Research note 9/2015 by Erhan Ozdemir and Terry Ward (2015) This Research Note has two main aims. The first is to examine the characteristics of employees with low pay, which is defined in the main part of the study as those with hourly earnings of less than 50% of the average. The second is to compare the EU-SILC with the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a source of data on the characteristics of the low-paid in order to assess their consistency. This is an important prelude to using the EU-SILC as the basis for examining the extent to which low pay is a major determinant of low household income and, accordingly, the strength of the link between low pay and in-work poverty. Since the LFS covers a much larger sample of households than the EU-SILC, it should be a more reliable source of data on the characteristics of those in employment. A comparison between the two in terms of low-wage earners, therefore, provides a check on the reliability of the EU-SILC data. In order to identify the low-paid in terms of their earnings relative to the average, the data on net monthly earnings reported by the LFS, which is in the form of deciles, is converted into monetary amounts using the EU-SILC, on the implicit assumption that the distribution of earnings according to the two surveys is similar. Earnings are then converted into hourly amounts on the basis of the LFS data on usual hours worked. The characteristics of the low-paid examined consist of gender, age, educational attainment levels, hours of work, the type of employment contract, occupation, sector of activity and country of birth (to reflect migrant background).
Non-standard employment and access to social security benefits - Research note 8/2015 by Manos Matsaganis, Erhan Özdemir, Terry Ward and Alkistis Zavakou (2015) This Research Note:
• Reviews the literature on non-standard employment, and the definitions of it that have been adopted.
• Examines the extent of non-standard employment in the EU and the way it has changed over the recent past, especially over the crisis period.
• Considers social security systems in the different EU Member States as they apply to different types of non-standard employment, namely: self-employment, fixed-term contracts, and part-time work. The aim is to identify features that disadvantage, or are likely to disadvantage, workers in these types of employment as compared with those in standard jobs – i.e. with permanent contracts of employment and full-time work. The main focus is on unemployment, sickness, and maternity benefits, though the relevant features of public pension schemes are also considered.
• Assesses the relative number of people in these types of employment in different EU Member States (based on EU Labour Force Survey data), and therefore at risk of not being entitled to social benefits in the event of becoming unemployed, falling ill or having a child.
Micro and Macro Drivers of Material Deprivation Rates - Research note 7/2015 by Anna B. Kis, Erhan Özdemir, Terry Ward (2015) This Research Note examines, first, macro drivers of material deprivation, essentially analysing the factors which seem to explain differences across countries in the proportion of the population that are identified as being materially deprived, secondly, micro drivers, or, more accurately, the effect of changes in household income on the situation of people in this regard. Both parts use the indicator of material deprivation developed for assessing and monitoring the extent of deprivation in the EU in the different Member States, which is based on the inability of households to afford a given number among nine items included in the EU-SILC. The first is based on the core EU_SILC dataset and focuses on the indicator of severe material deprivation, which is measured as the inability of households to afford any four of the nine items in question. The second is based on the longitudinal data included in the EU-SILC, which enables the situation of the same household to be tracked over time, in this case over three years, 2010-2012, and is focused on the standard indicator of deprivation, which is the inability to afford any three of the nine items.