Accounting for Employee Benefits

Neil Gilbert

in Counting the Poor

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860586
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932948 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Accounting for Employee Benefits

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This chapter explores the different types of noncash benefits that can accompany employment, their share in total compensation, and the likely impact of including them in the measurement of resources available for consumption. The first two sections review the relatively clear-cut data, which show that: employee benefits have come to form an increasingly significant part of remuneration, accounting for a higher proportion of the costs of hourly compensation in Europe than in the United States; and these benefits tend to disproportionately favor those already earning high incomes. The next two sections turn to the thorny questions of exactly what benefits to count and how to value them for inclusion in measures of poverty and inequality. The concluding section examines some of the broader implications for the treatment of functionally equivalent social benefits. This analysis draws on the BLS series on employee benefits for production workers in manufacturing to illustrate measurement issues.

Keywords: noncash benefits; employment benefits; compensation; remuneration; poverty; inequality

Chapter.  6219 words.  Illustrated.

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