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France: Rising Precariousness Supported by the Welfare state

Abstract : This paper describes that France is apparently one of the few rich countries to have avoided a significant increase in income inequality in recent decades. How-ever, stable average inequalities mask an asymmetric trends of income between age groups, the elderly improving their situation while the young see theirs wors-ening. Furthermore, it shows that behind this relatively still surface, a general trend of precarization of more and more ordinary workers is occurring. The im-portance of wage-setting processes and of regulation of the labour market is bought out, together with the way the tax and transfer systems have operated, in restraining the forces driving inequality upwards. Wage growth, while limited, has thus been reasonably uniform across the distribution and together with the redistributive system have kept household income inequality within bounds. How-ever, in response to high unemployment both regulatory and tax–transfer systems have served to underpin the very rapid growth in precarious working over the last decade, representing a very serious challenge for policy.
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Philippe Askenazy, Bruno Palier. France: Rising Precariousness Supported by the Welfare state. LIEPP Working Paper, Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d’évaluation des politiques publiques (LIEPP, Sciences Po), 2018. ⟨hal-01933776⟩

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