Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 235–259 | Cite as

A comparison of poverty in seven European countries and regions using subjective and relative measures

  • Karel Van den Bosch
  • Tim Callan
  • Jordi Estivill
  • Pierre Hausman
  • Bruno Jeandidier
  • Ruud Muffels
  • John Yfantopoulos


This paper presents comparative results on poverty in seven countries and regions of the European Community: Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Lorraine, Ireland, Catalonia and Greece. The data are obtained from comparable socio-economic surveys in each country. Subjective as well as relative poverty lines are used. The results indicate that the subjective poverty lines are plausible in a comparative context, although the levels of the subjective standards are rather generous. The estimated equivalence scales are much flatter than the one recommended by the OECD. The extent of poverty is much greater in the “peripheral” EC-countries than in the “central” ones. Though similar factors are found to be associated with poverty in all countries, there are also important differences in the characteristics of the poor across countries. The impact of social security transfers on poverty appears to be much smaller in the southern countries Greece and Catalonia, than in the Benelux and Lorraine.


European Country Comparative Result Social Security European Community Poverty Line 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karel Van den Bosch
    • 1
  • Tim Callan
    • 2
  • Jordi Estivill
    • 3
  • Pierre Hausman
    • 4
  • Bruno Jeandidier
    • 5
  • Ruud Muffels
    • 6
  • John Yfantopoulos
    • 7
  1. 1.Centre for Social Policy (CSP) University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)DublinRepublic of Ireland
  3. 3.Gabinet d'Estudis Socials (GES)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Centre d'Etude de Populationsde Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques (CEPS)WalferdangeLuxembourg
  5. 5.Equipe de Recherche pour l'Analyse Dynamique des Effets des Politiques Sociales (ADEPS)University de Nancy IINancyFrance
  6. 6.Department of Social Security Studies (IVA)Tilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands
  7. 7.National Center for Social Research (NCSR)AthensGreece

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