ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Eusebius Small

Second Advisor

Kathy Lee


Background: Labor has not been a sufficient means of preventing poverty since the end of the 20th century. Due to this uncertain relationship between labor and poverty, the working poor issue has reemerged as a social problem around the world. Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to identify factors influencing the status of the working poor in the welfare states, whose income is below the 60% of median household income. Using multidimensional state level data, the current study examined the conditions of the working poor by applying cross-national comparative approaches. Methods: Using secondary data from the International Social Survey Programmes (ISSP), Social Insurance Entitlement Dataset (SIED), and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), individual characteristics including the householder’s characteristics and household composition were measured, and state-level characteristics in welfare states were measured using decommodification and Active Labor Market Policies (ALMPs). Analysis: This study identified factors that influence the working poor status on an individual- and state-level using Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling (HGLM). The working poor status was a dichotomous variable, which categorizes the working poor and the non-working poor. Results: At the individual level, a female head household, a single head of household, and a head of household with lower education levels, having a part-time job or no job, and having more children were significant factors associated with the odds of being the working poor. At the state-level, decommodification levels were significantly associated with the odds of being the working poor. The results also showed that high decommodification levels decreased the odds of being the working poor for female householder and part-time laborer. ALMPs expenditure reduced the odds of being the working poor in a household which has many children.


Welfare state, Working poor, Ddecommodification, Active Labor Market Policies (ALMPs), Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling (HGLM)


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons