Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

2014 Edition
| Editors: Alex C. Michalos

Determinants of Poverty in Europe

  • Caroline DewildeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_3782



Starting with the term “ poverty” in the title of this entry, it is safe to say that over the past decades, most scholars have come to define poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon that takes on different forms and shapes for different groups in the population. Many authors adhere to the definition introduced by Peter Townsend (1979: 31): “Individuals, families and groups in the population can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the type of diet, participate in the activities and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or at least widely encouraged, or approved, in the societies to which they belong. They are, in effect, excluded from ordinary living patterns, customs and activities.” Put differently, poverty is a social and relative concept, depending on the standards of living in a particular...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bradshaw, J., & Finch, N. (2002). A comparison of child benefit packages in 22 countries. Leeds: Department for Work and Pensions.Google Scholar
  2. Castles, F. G. (1998). The really big trade-off: Home ownership and the welfare state in the New World and the Old. Acta Politica, 33(1), 5–19.Google Scholar
  3. Dewilde, C. (2004). The multidimensional measurement of poverty in Belgium and Britain: A categorical approach. Social Indicators Research, 68(3), 331–369.Google Scholar
  4. Dewilde, C. (2008). Individual and institutional determinants of multidimensional poverty: A European comparison. Social Indicators Research, 86(2), 233–256.Google Scholar
  5. Dewilde, C., & Raeymaeckers, P. (2008). The trade-off between home-ownership and pensions: Individual and institutional determinants of old-age poverty. Ageing & Society, 28(6), 805–830.Google Scholar
  6. Dewilde, C., & Vranken, J. (2005). Mesure multidimensionelle de la pauvreté au sein de l’Union européenne: une approche catégorielle. Revue belge de sécurité sociale, 47(1), 21–58.Google Scholar
  7. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The three worlds of welfare capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  8. EUROSTAT. (2010). Combating poverty and social exclusion. A statistical portrait of the European Union 2010. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
  9. Fahey, T. (2007). The case for an EU-wide measure of poverty. European Sociological Review, 23(1), 35–47.Google Scholar
  10. Jeandidier, B., & Kop, J. L. (1998). The convergence between different measures of poverty in a static versus dynamic perspective: An empirical illustration in France (Trans.). In H. J. Andreß (Ed.), Empirical poverty research in a comparative perspective (pp. 205–226). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  11. Kemeny, J. (1981). The myth of home ownership. Private versus public choices in housing tenure. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  12. Muffels, R., & Fouarge, D. (2004). The role of European welfare states in explaining resources deprivation. Social Indicators Research, 68(3), 299–330.Google Scholar
  13. Nolan, B., & Whelan, C. T. (2010). Using non-monetary deprivation indicators to analyze poverty and social exclusion: Lessons from Europe? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29(2), 305–325.Google Scholar
  14. Ringen, S. (1988). Direct and indirect measures of poverty. Journal of Social Policy, 17(3), 351–365.Google Scholar
  15. Rybkowska, A., & Schneider, M. (2011). Housing conditions in Europe in 2009. In EUROSTAT (Ed.), Statistics in focus (Vol. 4). Luxembourg: European Commission.Google Scholar
  16. Sen, A. (1992). Inequality reexamined. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Townsend, P. (1979). Poverty in the United Kingdom. A survey of household resources and standards of living. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  18. Wolff, P. (2010). 17% of EU citizens were at-risk-of-poverty in 2008. In EUROSTAT (Ed.), Statistics in focus (Vol. 9). Luxembourg: European Commission.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands