Économie et Statistique n° 421 - 2009 What does it Mean to be Poor in Europe today? - A Multidimensional Approach to the Economic Value of Nature-based Recreation - Do French Managers Know their Companies?
What does it Mean to be Poor in Europe today? An Analysis of the Consensus on Deprivations
The 2006 INSEE “Living Standards” survey and the 2007 Eurobarometer 67.1 conducted on behalf of the European Commission offer insights into how France and the other EU countries view poverty and its attendant deprivations. Indeed, poverty may be defined as the fact of suffering from various deprivations. This is known as “living-conditions poverty”. Although more than 50% of respondents to the French survey regard one-half of the listed deprivations as unacceptable, clearcut consensus is found only for a small number of deprivations. This indicates a restrictive vision of poverty confined to severe lack of food and functional deprivation regarding clothing, very poor quality of housing, and difficulty in obtaining healthcare. Items expressing deprivation of non-vital needs often seem less unacceptable. In France as in the rest of Europe, opinions are highly diverse: there is no agreement on an identical basket of unacceptable deprivations. The standard socio-demographic descriptors have a weak impact on responses. They do not allow the identification of respondent groups in which consensus prevails about a specific poverty standard substantially different from the general standard. By contrast, there are wide differences between countries. We can thus discern a “national” effect, which underscores the difficulty of using the concept of “living-conditions poverty” in international comparisons.