Who is Poor in the Czech Republic? The Changing Structure and Faces of Poverty after 1989
27 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2006
Date Written: 2004
The paper provides a summary of evidence on the development of poverty in the Czech Republic since 1989. First, the new sources of poverty after 1989 and the new measures introduced to prevent or combat it are described. Second, the relative ease with which it is possible to leave the labour force and the impact of departures on household income is considered. Third, a variety of measurements that reveal different faces of poverty, comparing so-called objective and subjective indicators, are presented. Fourth, the working poor are examined and compared with non-working poor. As a comparison of Microcensus data demonstrates, more change occurred in the composition than in the amount of poverty. Before 1989, poverty was caused mainly by demographic factors. In contrast, unemployment became the strongest factor of poverty under the market economy. This largely manifested itself after 1997, when there was a rapid increase in unemployment in the Czech Republic and the numbers for long-term unemployed grew even faster. Simultaneously, the problem of "the working poor" appeared, but it is far less acute in the Czech Republic than in other EU countries. In conclusion, drawing sociology more into poverty research is stressed as a necessity.
Keywords: poverty, social policy, social reforms, Czech Republic
JEL Classification: I32, I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation