ISER Working Paper Series 2012-02
Calibrating a cross-European poverty line
31 Jan 2012
How should relative poverty be defined and measured in a European Union where there are substantial variations in income between countries, as well as within countries? This paper uses objective and subjective deprivation indicators to assess the appropriate balance between national and Europe-wide relativities in explaining social exclusion. The analysis suggests that Europe-wide comparisons are more important to the perception of poverty than the convention of national relative poverty lines would have led us to expect. Even relative poverty is more prevalent in the new low-income (eastern) countries than in the old high-income (western) countries. But this is as much a political as an empirical issue.