Low Wages Need Not Mean Low Incomes

Lane Kenworthy, Jessica Epstein and Daniel Duerr

in Progress for the Poor

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199591527
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731389 | DOI:
Low Wages Need Not Mean Low Incomes

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Low-wage jobs are a prominent feature of the U.S. economy. To the surprise of many observers, the same can now be said of Germany. Changes in economic pressures, institutions, and policies make it likely that other countries will follow Germany’s lead. But citizens and policy makers should worry far less about low wages for individuals than about low incomes for households. Policy—in particular, an employment-conditional earnings subsidy—can help to ensure that low wages do not result in low incomes.

Keywords: low wages; in-work poverty; poverty; employment-conditional earnings subsidy; Earned Income Tax Credit; Working Tax Credit

Chapter.  4663 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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