The welfare state and antipoverty policy in rich countries

Ive Marx, Brian Nolan, Javier Olivera

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The aim of this chapter is to highlight some key aspects of recent economic research on the welfare state and antipoverty policy in rich countries and to explore their implications. We begin with the conceptualization and measurement of poverty before sketching out some core features and approaches to the welfare state and antipoverty policies. We then focus on the central plank of the modern welfare state's efforts to address poverty-namely, social protection, discussing in turn the inactive working-age population, child income support, in-work poverty, and retirement and old-age pensions. After that we discuss social spending other than cash transfers, the labor market, education, training and activation, and, finally, intergenerational transmission, childhood, and neighborhoods. We also discuss the welfare state and antipoverty policy in the context of the economic crisis that began in 2007-2008 and the implications for strategies aimed at combining economic growth and employment with making serious inroads into poverty. We conclude with directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Income Distribution
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages77
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameHandbook of Income Distribution
ISSN (Print)1574-0056


  • Antipoverty policy
  • Poverty
  • Redistribution


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