Differences in Anti-Poverty Approaches in Europe and the United States: A Cross-Atlantic Descriptive Policy Analysis
Poverty & Public Policy, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 1-17, 2011
Posted: 16 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
Poverty alleviation is an important objective of European countries and of the United States. If these ‘rich’ states offer elaborate systems of income maintenance, why is there still a considerable amount of poverty? And why are anti-poverty outcomes so different in the United States compared to European countries? This paper completes a trilogy of cross-country research papers on anti-poverty policy. Two former papers analyzed the effects of social transfers on both poverty levels and poverty alleviation through tax and social transfer systems. These papers marked the United States as an outlier: high poverty rates, low public social spending but high private social expenditures, a rather strong belief that people are poor because of laziness or lack of will, and remarkable differences across the Federal States caused by state discretion. Therefore, this paper discusses differences in anti-poverty approaches between the European Union and the United States.
Keywords: welfare reform, poverty
JEL Classification: I3
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