Journal of European Social Policy

Published by SAGE Publications
Print ISSN: 0958-9287
PIP "This article deals with the migration of undocumented workers from Albania and Poland to Greece. Its underlying assumption is that migration from the former post-communist countries to Greece is not a homogeneous phenomenon, thus allowing for a distinction and comparison between the migration waves from Poland and Albania to Greece. The article shows that economic migration from Albania and Poland to Greece is primarily an economically triggered phenomenon which results from both individual rational choices and social, structural settings, and which verifies a general tendency of mass flows, characteristic of the era of disorganized capitalism." (EXCERPT).
PIP "This study is based upon an international dataset comparing state support for families in fifteen countries (of which twelve are member states of the European Union).... Using multiple regression analysis, the levels of state support are explained by the principal parameters used for setting the levels of benefit, and by the demographic and economic characteristics of the countries concerned....[Results suggest] that the economic convergence of the member states is likely to promote greater similarity in their systems of state welfare support for families." (EXCERPT).
This paper uses the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to investigate the role of pension and social security institutions in shaping the European patterns of work and retirement. The key novelty of our paper is a careful account of the health status of the respondents. We provide new evidence on the extent of health-adjusted "unused capacity" in the labour force, on the institutional determinants of the pathways to retirement, and on the relationship between actual health status and disability-benefit recipiency. We find that institutional differences between countries explain much of the cross-national differences in work and retirement, while differences in health and demographics play only a minor role.
A common problem in empirical studies dealing with the identification of the poor is that their results tend to be sensitive to the selection of particular concepts of resources, equivalence scales and poverty lines. This article aims to examine the robustness of the results of poverty analysis to the use of alternative concepts of resources (consumption expenditure, current income, permanent income and the composite index of basic housing amenities and consumer durable goods) equivalence scales (subjective, experts' and food-scales) and poverty lines (fractions of the mean of the respective distribution), with reference to Greece.
Distribution of attitudes towards gender equality.
Descriptive statistics.
Distribution of attitudes towards sharing household responsibilities.
OLS regressions, pooled sample, Gendereq, Sharing, and Intervention are dependent variables.
Distribution of attitudes towards state intervention to increase gender equality.
Using survey data from Norway and Sweden, we assess people’s attitudes towards gender equality. Previous studies argue that these attitudes are more egalitarian in Sweden than in Norway. Similar to previous research, we find that Swedes are more positive towards gender equality in general. However, we find no differences regarding views on egalitarian sharing of household responsibilities, and Norwegians are actually more supportive of government intervention to increase gender equality. This suggests that the lower support for gender equality in Norway is less robust than previously thought and that there is a larger scope for advancing the gender revolution in Norway via government policies than in Sweden.
We link population register data to information on regional child care characteristics in order to estimate the influence of the latter on second and third birth intensities of Swedish couples in 1997-98. Our analysis allows us to distinguish interactions and specific effects of different dimensions of the local day-care infrastructure, namely the provision rate, the child-to-staff-ratio, and the costs of care to parents. However, our results reveal no clear effects of these child care characteristics on Swedish couples’ continued childbearing. We interpret this absence of effects as a reflection of the generally very appropriate level of child care in Sweden, which is complemented by further supportive family policies. In such a context, moderate regional variations in the characteristics of day care may have no decisive impact on parents’ propensity to have another child.
Parameters defining the family based in-work benefit scheme 
Parameters defining the individual in-work benefit scheme
Poverty effects of in-work benefits (percentage points) 
Employment incentives of in-work benefits 
The international financial crisis manifests itself in Ireland not only as a crisis of the banking system, but also as a major fiscal crisis, aggravated by years of soft revenue policy and a housing bubble that has burst spectacularly. The severe drop in economic output results in a crisis of employment and a definitive end to the ‘Celtic Tiger’ era of rapid growth and nearfull employment. Although the political system has proven resilient thus far, with membership of the Euro preventing the catastrophic political crises that affected Latvia and Iceland, for example, the crisis has revealed significant weaknesses in political system. This paper considers institutional shortcomings in three arenas through which policies to deal with the crisis must be managed: the parliamentary system, the public administration, and social partnership structures.
Vulnerability to Economic Exclusion
Economic Vulnerability by Welfare Regime (V=vulnerable, NV=non-vulnerable)
During the nineties, Europe became a major recipient of FDIs but Italian regions have been largely excluded from this process. Was it due to their characteristics, or were Italian regions “doomed” by a negative country effect? In this paper we address this issue by estimating the determinants of multinational firms’ location choices in 52 EU regions. We find that Italian regions indeed attracted significantly less than their observable potential, and that this could be explained by the inefficiency of the bureaucratic apparatus and of the legal system. The effect of taxes is instead strongly sensitive to the inclusion of agglomeration variables and is asymmetric across regions.
The Design of the OMC
This paper analyses the potential effects of the open method of co-ordination on pension reforms in the European Union from an economic point of view. The main results are: (1) For the first time, the Commission formally participates in the input of pension policy-formation of the member states, but without affecting their ultimate decision-making powers. (2) However, the OMC might foster yardstick competition and thus mutual learning from the reform experiences of other member states. (3) In contrast to that, no clear effects on the rent-seeking behaviour of special-interest groups and thus on their influence in shaping pension reforms can be derived.
An Illustration of Converging Economic Stress Levels with Increasing Consumption Deprivation for a Selected Set of Countries
During the nineties, Europe became a major recipient of FDIs but Italian regions have been largely excluded from this process. Was it due to their characteristics, or were Italian regions “doomed” by a negative country effect? In this paper we address this issue by estimating the determinants of multinational firms’ location choices in 52 EU regions. We find that Italian regions indeed attracted significantly less than their observable potential, and that this could be explained by the inefficiency of the bureaucratic apparatus and of the legal system. The effect of taxes is instead strongly sensitive to the inclusion of agglomeration variables and is asymmetric across regions.
This paper uses harmonized data for the member states of the European Union to analyse household income packaging from a ‘welfare regimes’ perspective. Using data from the third wave of the ECHP, it looks at how the role of welfare transfers in the income package varies across countries and welfare regimes, and assesses whether this is consistent with the predictions of welfare regime theory, having first elaborated some specific hypotheses in that regard. It finds that when one focuses on averages across countries categorized into regimes, many of these hypotheses about the role of transfers are in broad terms borne out by the evidence. However, when one focuses on individual countries rather than regime averages the picture is a good deal more complex and consistency with the range of hypotheses more limited. It is essential that this variation across countries is taken into account in interpreting and using welfare regime theory and typologies.
provides the results of our investigation. We estimated three models. The first
(continued): Logistic regression models, odds ratios, dependent variable: using/not using parental leave
This paper investigates fathers’ usage of parental leave in Germany based on data from the microcensuses of 1999–2005. Special attention is given to the role that education has in leave-taking behaviour. Our empirical results show that educational differences between the partners are strong predictors of fathers’ usage of parental leave. A father is more likely to take parental leave if he has a partner who is more highly educated or older. We also find that employment through a temporary working contract substantially lowers the chances that a man will take advantage of parental leave, while being employed in the public sector increases the likelihood that a man will use his parental leave entitlement.
Older persons' work histories in the UK, US, and West Germany, 65+*
The relationship between older women's work histories and (logged) personal incomes in the UK, US and Germany, aged 65+*
Using data from several large scale longitudinal surveys, this paper investigates the relationship between older women’s personal incomes and their work histories in the UK, US and West Germany. By comparing three countries with very different welfare regimes, we seek to gain a better understanding of the interaction between the life course, pension system and women’s incomes in later life. The association between older women’s incomes and work histories is strongest in West Germany and weakest in the UK, where there is evidence of a pensions’ poverty trap and where only predominantly full-time employment is associated with significantly higher incomes in later life, after controlling for other socio-economic characteristics. Work history matters less for widows (in all three countries) and more for younger birth cohorts and more educated women (UK only). We conclude with a brief discussion of the ‘women-friendliness’ of different pension regimes in the light of our analysis.
Rising levels of urban deprivation and a perception that poverty has become more concentrated in such areas and has taken on a qualitatively different character have provoked a variety of popular and academic responses. The potentially most fruitful set of hypotheses focuses on the unintended consequences of social change. A combination of weak labour force attachment and social isolation is perceived to lead to behaviour and orientations that contribute to a vicious circle of deprivation. In examining the value of this conceptual framework in the Irish case we proceed by measuring directly the social-psychological factors which are hypothesized to mediate the 'underclass' process. A significantly higher level of poverty is found in urban public-sector tenant households. This finding cannot be accounted for entirely by socio-demographic differences. It is the assessment of this net or residual effect that is crucial to an evaluation of vicious circle explanations. Controlling for the critical social-psychological factors we found that net effect was reduced by less than a quarter and concluded that the remaining effect is more plausibly attributed to the role of selection than to underclass processes. Analysis of the changing relationship between urban public-sector tenancy and poverty provides support for this interpretation. For the main part the distinctiveness of social housing tenants is a consequence of the disadvantages they suffer in relation to employment opportunities and living standards. Ultimately it is these problems that policy interventions, whatever the level at which they take place, must address.
Public Parental Leave Policies
Child Care Policies: Public Support
Child Care Polices: Public Supply
School Policies
This article compares 14 OECD countries, as of the middle-to-late 1980s, with respect to their provision of policies that support moth ers' employment: parental leave, child care, and the scheduling of public education. Newly gathered data on 18 policy indicators are pre sented. The indicators are then standardized, weighted, and summed into indices. By differ entiating policies that affect maternal employ ment from family policies more generally, these indices reveal dramatic cross-national differences in policy provisions. The empirical results reveal loose clusters of countries that correspond only partially to prevailing welfare-state typologies. For mothers with preschool-aged children, only five of the 14 countries provided reasonably complete and continuous benefits that sup ported their options for combining paid work with family responsibilities. The pattern of cross-national policy variation changed no tably when policies affecting mothers with older children were examined. The indices provide an improved measure of public support for maternal employment. They are also useful for contrasting family benefits that are provided through direct cash transfers with those that take the form of sup port for mothers' employment. Finally, these policy findings contribute to the body of schol arship that seeks to integrate gender issues more explicitly into research on welfare-state regimes.
Ranking of 14 OECD countries and welfare state types according to age cleavage
This article is about the relative impact of age and income on individual attitudes towards welfare state policies in advanced industrial democracies; that is, the extent to which the intergenerational conflict supercedes or complements intragenerational conflicts. On the basis of a multivariate statistical analysis of the 1996 ISSP Role of Government Data Set for 14 OECD countries, we find considerable age-related differences in welfare state preferences. In particular for the case of education spending, but also for other policy areas, we see that one’s position in the life cycle is a more important predictor of preferences than income. Second, some ountries, such as the United States, show a higher salience of the age cleavage across all policy fields; that is, age is a more important line of political reference formation in these countries than in others. Third, country characteristics matter. Although the relative salience of age varies across policy areas, we see – within one policy area – a large variance across countries.
It is often stated that there is no standard definition of a ‘welfare state’. A survey of the standard textbooks supports this claim. It is also often the case that academic works on welfare state and social policy history earmark lines or even pages to discussing the origins of the term welfare state. However, these brief accounts are often wrong in the details and are missing important aspects. In our article we offer the first detailed study of the origin of the term ‘welfare state’ tracing it back to the mid-19th century Germany and following its diverse and changing definitions in the German and British context until the 1940s. The study adds decades to the conventional understanding of this history and offers a more nuanced understanding of the different definitions attributed to the term before its political breakthrough in the late 1940s. Projecting this post-war understanding backwards in time – what the literature generally does – is too simple and anachronistic. Both in Germany and Britain the dominating understandings differ from our present day understanding of the ‘welfare state’ as a social security system.
For many years comparative welfare state research has been afflicted with a sort of methodological nationalism in the sense that countries were treated as independent units. In line with the recent ‘spatial turn’ in comparative public policy studies, this paper examines with regard to three welfare state programmes whether, in the post-war period, the provision of social rights in 18 Western democracies was shaped by benefit generosity in other countries. We show that diffusion is present but varies by programme and over time. Rather surprisingly, we find that policy diffusion was particularly relevant during the Golden Age.
Over the past few decades, all affluent democracies have been coping with two major new trends: population aging, and new social risks resulting from de-industrialization. How have these trends, and their timing, affected welfare spending within and between countries? We investigate up to 21 OECD democracies between 1980 and 2003 with respect to eight separate spending categories (old age pensions, incapacity benefits, survivors benefits, health spending, family spending, unemployment benefits, active labor market programs, and education) and two composite indicators of aggregate welfare spending bias: ENSS (elderly/non-elderly spending share) and NSRS (new social risks share). We find that population aging drives up pension spending, but not health spending or ENSS. Contemporaneous levels of new social risks conspicuously fail to affect either NSRS or individual program spending. But the timing of the large-scale arrival of such risks 'on the ground' does play a key role. Countries that entered the postindustrial society comparatively late record lower NSRS values, as they spend less on programs such as education and family allowances. Institutional differences as captured by welfare regime type continue to matter crucially in accounting for variation between welfare states.
This article gives an overview of central aspects (aims and measures) of the German Pension Reform Act decided upon in 1989 and implemented m 1992. One main element is the redefinition of the pension adjustment procedure (introducing net pension adjustment) aiming at a constant net pension level. It is integrated in a self-regulating mechanism making financing (for contribution payments as well as from federal grant) a dependent variable. Other important measures are aimed at increasing the (average) retirement age and introducing a partial pension (phased retirement) into social insurance. The article discusses possible economic effects of these measures as well as consequences of their introduction in East Germany after the German unification, taking into account the quite different situations m East and West Germany.
Poverty rates before and after increase of employment to 75% using shift-share and regression-based approach (fixed and floating poverty line), active age population  
Changes in household work intensity following job growth to 75% employment rate  
Poverty impact of employment growth to 75%, sensitivity test for job allocation mechanism, active age population
Average original, simulated (M1) and low pay gross annual wages.  
At the European level and in most EU member states, higher employment levels are seen as key to better poverty outcomes. But what can we expect the actual impact to be? Up until now shift-share analysis has been used to estimate the impact of rising employment on relative income poverty. This method has serious limitations. We propose a more sophisticated simulation model that builds on regression based estimates of employment probabilities and wages. We use this model to estimate the impact on relative income poverty of moving towards the Europe 2020 target of 75 percent of the working aged population in work. Two sensitivity checks are included: giving priority in job allocation to jobless households and imputing low instead of estimated wages. This paper shows that employment growth does not necessarily result in lower relative poverty shares, a result that is largely consistent with observed outcomes over the past decade.
As the numbers of older people rise in Europe, the importance of long-term care services in terms of numbers of users and expenditures can be expected to grow. This article examines the implications for expenditure in four countries of a national entitlement to long-tem care services for all older people, based on assessed dependency. It is based on a European Commission-funded cross-national study, which makes projections to 2050 of long-term care expenditure in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. The policy option investigated is based on the German long-term care insurance scheme, which embodies the principle of an entitlement on uniform national criteria to long-term care benefits. The research models this key principle of the German system in the other three participating countries, with respect to home care services. The study finds that, if all moderately/severely dependent older people receive an entitlement to formal (in-kind) home care, the impact on expenditure could be considerable, but would vary greatly between countries. The impact on long-term care expenditure is found to be the least in Germany, where there is already an entitlement to benefits; and the greatest in Spain, where reliance on informal care is widespread. This article discusses the policy implications of these results.
As the numbers of older people rise in Europe, the importance of long-term care services in terms of numbers of users and expenditures can be expected to grow. This article examines the implications for expenditure in four countries of a national entitlement to long-tem care services for all older people, based on assessed dependency. It is based on a European Commission-funded cross-national study, which makes projections to 2050 of long-term care expenditure in Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. The policy option investigated is based on the German long-term care insurance scheme, which embodies the principle of an entitlement on uniform national criteria to long-term care benefits. The research models this key principle of the German system in the other three participating countries, with respect to home care services. The study finds that, if all moderately/severely dependent older people receive an entitlement to formal (in-kind) home care, the impact on expenditure could be considerable, but would vary greatly between countries. The impact on long-term care expenditure is found to be the least in Germany, where there is already an entitlement to benefits; and the greatest in Spain, where reliance on informal care is widespread. This article discusses the policy implications of these results.
Country mean satisfaction levels and support for the role of government in organizing healthcare in Europe, ESS-4, 2008-2009 (weighted data). 
Fixed effects of self-interest motives ideology, and institutional characteristics regarding support for two aspects of the popular legitimacy of European healthcare systems, ESS-4, 2008-2009 (weighted, standardized coefficients). 
The relationship of egalitarianism and satisfaction with the country's healthcare system in Europe by health status, ESS-4, 2008-2009. (weighted data). 
This paper provides an empirical study of the between-individual and between-country differences in the popular legitimacy of European healthcare systems. In order to explain two dimensions of popular legitimacy (satisfaction and support for state responsibility), we assess the impact of self-interest motives (income and personal health), ideology (egalitarianism) and institutional arrangements (level of service provision, and private and government health expenditure). For this purpose, data from the European Social Survey Round 4 (ESS-4, 2008–2009) are analysed by means of multilevel models. Universal high support for state responsibility is found, while satisfaction varies considerably, with particularly low levels found in Eastern European and former Soviet Union countries. It appears that individuals are not guided by self-interest motives and ideology alone. In addition to these factors interacting, the results suggest that state-provided healthcare might be in everyone’s interest. Introducing a patient perspective could advance our understanding of healthcare legitimacy.
The core of existing healthcare typologies is the public—private mix in the three areas of funding, provision and regulation of healthcare services. This article aims to contribute to the debate by adding ‘healthcare access’ as an important dimension for comparing healthcare systems. In contrast to previous analyses, I extend the concept of access by looking at regulative aspects and financial incentives that shape entry and reception of care. Based on empirical indicators for three different dimensions of healthcare access — gatekeeping, cost sharing and supply — a cluster analysis is performed that yields four access regime types: financial incentive states; strong gatekeeping/low supply states; weakly regulated/high supply states; and mixed regulation states. The countries clustered in the access regimes show a different pattern than typologies based on other system indicators. This suggests that previously used dimensions for comparison do not sufficiently capture patients’ access to healthcare.
Conocer el impacto que una mayor igualdad en el acceso a y en la financiación de los servivios sanitarios tengan sobre las desigualdades observadas en el estado de salud de la población, constituye un área de investigación clave para la reforma de los sistemas sanitarios. Los estudios comparativos entre países, cuando existen, adolecen del problema relativo a la heterogeneidad de los datos y a la existencia de distintos sistemas de financiación y organizaciones de salud. El anterior Sistema Nacional de Salud español ofrece un campo de estudio "único" para explorar estas cuestiones y para contrastar los efectos de la descentralización de las responsabilidades en materia sanitaria. Este artículo contribuye a la literatura examinando dos cuestiones: primero, se evalua el nivel de heterogeneidad regional en las desigualdades y inequidades relacionadas con la renta en nivel de salud, utilización y financiación de servicios sanitarios, relacionándolo con la descentralización de la política sanitaria. En segundo lugar, se examina si las desigualdades en salud entre CCAA se pueden explicar mediante las desigualdades calculadas en el acceso y en la financiación de la salud, a través de análisis de correlación y de regresión. Los datos utilizados son del año 2001, que es el año anterior a la extensión de la descentralización a todas las CCAA. Los resultados validan la existencia de desigualdades regionales en salud y acceso a los servicios sanitarios, mientras que la financiación es ligeramente progresiva, aunque estas desigualdades no estan asociadas al proceso de devolución de competencias a las CCAA. Por otro lado, parece que las desigualdades (inequidades) en salud estan explicadas por las desigualdades en la distribución de la renta regional y por las desigualdades en el acceso, mientras que la equidad en la financiación no ejerce ningún efecto.
Czech Republic between the Copenhagen criteria and the Lisbon Strategy
This paper assesses the place of EU accession among the determinants of the changes taking place in the Czech social policy after 1989. Compulsory social and health insurance were re-introduced in the early 1990s, along with a guaranteed subsistence minimum for all, and an institutionalized state employment policy. This paper argues that EU-derived policies have had only a limited impact on Czech social-policy reform, focusing mostly on institution building. This phenomenon can be attributed to the apparent discrepancy between Copenhagen criteria of accession (1993) and the Lisbon Strategy, which was accepted as a policy guideline in 2002. Thus, the main concept able to explain Czech social-policy development after 1989 is that of institutional and behavioural path dependency as the country exhibited resistance to change coupled with a strong adherence to the Bismarckian, corporatist, welfare state. This makes the Czech Republic a special case compared to the other Visegrad countries, where the pressure from neo-liberal public-policy concepts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund found its expression in the introduction of more residual social policies.
Focusing on the social impacts of the 2000—2 pension reform in Bulgaria, the article examines how Bulgarian pensioners cope with income risk in old age. Reporting that old-age pensions are frequently inadequate to household consumption needs, the authors argue for more generous tax-financed social pensions alongside contributory pension provision, to combat old-age poverty. As the poorest country to date to achieve European Union accession, the article concludes by suggesting that Bulgaria's pursuit of fuller integration and development within the EU cannot be divorced from better meeting the social security needs of its ageing population.
In the European Union, a growing body of regulations and decisions attempt to facilitate cross-border health treatments. These focus on coordinating social protection for those migrating or travelling within Europe, and increasingly those travelling specifically for health treatments abroad. With EU enlargement, the framework became effective for another ten countries. This article discusses access to health care in neighbouring regions of `old' and `new' EU member states: Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. Even if cross-border care is not a new phenomenon in the region, EU enlargement implies greater opportunities and increased requirements and incentives for coordination, cooperation and competition. The article concludes that this also involves prospects for improved access in the border region. But, outside pre-arranged institutional health care settings, taking advantage of these prospects is often determined by and differentiated along the lines of access to information and individual ability to pay, and it involves certain quality risks.
Degree to which employers implemented measures or were considering implementing measures aimed at retaining older personnel (percentages)
This article addresses employers’ attitudes and actions regarding the position of older workers. A comparative survey among employers from four European countries – Greece, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – is used to examine their expectations with respect to the ageing of the workforce, the productivity of older workers and their recruitment and retention behaviour regarding this cohort. The results show that in spite of the perceived challenges ahead (including the ageing workforce), employers take no substantial measures to retain and recruit older workers or improve their productivity. Only employers in the United Kingdom seem to recognize older workers as a valuable source of labour supply and act accordingly.
This article discusses the problems that occur when post-communist societies rebuild their welfare systems. The first section reconstructs the academic and political discourse on how to balance cost considerations and demands for `socral justice' in eastern and central Europe. It outlrnes four different polrcy options political actors have, to replace the old firm-based, state-budget financed, autboritarian social policy systems. Secondly, the unfavourable political preconditrons of social policy making are taken into account. Post-communist governments have great difficulties in finding sufficiently competent and powerful actors to perform social polrcy tasks in lieu of the party state, be it labour market organizations, pro fessional interest groups, local governments, or non-profit organizations. The third section attempts to explain the specific paths of social policy transformation chosen in four east and cerrtral European countries, namely Bulgaria, the Czech and Slovak Republics, and Hungary. In this section, agam, emphasis is laid on ana lytical issues rather than on presenting empiri cal findings. The aim is to sketch a preliminary framework for comparison that may be easily enriched with empirical data and further elab orated in future work. The concluding section briefly deals with the prospects of welfare state consolidation in the countrres surveyed.
Population ageing in Europe is likely to lead to changes in the provision of pensions and health services. Retirement ages, work practices and housing needs will be affected but changes are likely to be mediated via new technology and hence cannot be exactly predicted. While the ageing population is usually projected in terms of dependency or support ratios, in this paper projections are for older people as a proportion of eligible voters. American experience of the growing power of the elder's lobby is related to the European context, with emphasis on the growth of a framework for lobbying activity in a European context. While a mass movement of older people is even less likely in Europe than in the USA, public choice theory would suggest that as the numbers of older people rises towards 50% of eligible voters, politicians and policy makers will change their policies even without a united elderly bloc vote. There is also empirical evidence to suggest that policy makers perceive elderly people as a homogeneous, and hence a more powerful, bloc than their real divisions in terms of age, class, ethnicity and gender might indicate. The European situation differs from the American in that the proportion of older voters is very much higher over all and will be even higher in retirement areas and in areas of out migration. The development of a Europe of the regions may allow older peoples' pressure groups to have greater influence in Brussels, by-passing their national governments. They may therefore be more effective than at present appears likely when the situation is looked at from a national perspective. Older women who, in some countries will make up 30% of the potential electorate, may come to have a growing influence on social policy as they unite with younger women to improve access to equal European citizenship for caregivers and those who receive care.
Over the next 50 years almost all countries of the OECD area will experience a dramatic ageing of their population structures. This process will affect the burden, in terms of taxes or social security contributions, placed on active members of the population. If no changes occur in the (relative) level of benefits, the age of retirement, female participation rates, the level of unemployment, or the level of immigration: then the total burden of support by the active members of the population for the inactive and dependant will rise very considerably. This paper attempts to place broad magnitudes on the amount of the potential increase. The analysis goes on to ask: What if changes should occur in the underlying parameters such as benefit rates, retirement age, female participation, unemployment rates, immigration? The answer appears to be that each of these developments would ease the burden on the active population and would also redistribute it. Some more so than others. If all these things were to happen in combination, it is even possible that the burden of support might be lower in 2040 than it is now. However this paper, which compares potential developments in France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the USA, concludes with two, fairly obvious, caveats, first: those countries which are already most generous towards their older generations are also the most vulnerable when it comes to facing the ageing problem; Second: all those developments which might offset the consequences of ageing populations would also be available to improve incomes and welfare even if the ageing problem did not exist. Somewhere along the line, and relative to what might have been, there is a cost to be absorbed.
This article analyses the complex policy issues set into motion by the AIDS epidemic in Europe. It shows how different health systems responded to the challenge and how the management of an epidemic influenced general trends in health-care policies. AIDS emerged as an ill-structured problem calling into question the central position of the medical profession in policy making, institutional fragmentation in the health sector and the exclusive role of economic factors in policy reform. While the mainstream health services had to adapt to new demands, public- health services had to reinvent themselves to cope with the specific issues around prevention. The analysis thus distinguishes between the well-established medical-care sector and the weakly structured public-health sector. It focuses on the reshaping of policies in this previously neglected field, including at the level of the European Union.
Eastern Europe's recent revolutions theoretically should provide a new opportunity for communities affected by HIV. By looking at the Polish case I will try to evaluate how these opportunities have been utilized. Although, compared with the numbers of the AIDS cases and the HIV-infected in the West, Polish numbers are small, a lack of proper medical infrastructure and a lack of basic equipment to prevent the spread of AIDS has made the situation dramatic. Until the end of the 1980s responses to HIV/AIDS were carried out according to the prevailing old bureaucratic mode without any co-operation with affected groups. The new situation after the revolution has provided opportunities for members of affected groups to emerge and organize. However, at the same time, the increase in public intolerance and indifference towards the fate of its weakest members has been, to some degree, facilitated by many aspects of transitional period. In the process of breaking the state's monopoly on power and in the creation of local community structures, the danger of excessive parochialism and struggles for power emerges. New authorities, trying to preserve some social cohesion in the face of economic hardship, are faced with a society which lost the ability to recognize where the demarcation line runs between rights and demands to protect egoistic interests.
In this paper, the relationship between the degree of centralisation and the distributive outcomes in European schemes of social assistance is investigated. For this purpose, a scheme of classification suitable for grouping the EU15 schemes except for Luxembourg according to features related to centralisation is established and an indicator for centralisation is developed. Subsequently, on the basis of LIS data the effectiveness and efficiency in reducing poverty through social assistance payments are calculated for five selected EU systems and the linkage of their distributive impacts to the degree of centralisation is examined.
In the contemporary welfare state literature, both Japan and Southern Europe are often held to be distinct regimes. A comparative examination of the evidence for Japan suggests that this is not true. Japan's fusion of key el ements of catholic-conservative welfare states (occupational segmentation and familialism) with a liberal, American-style dominance of private welfare plans gives the appearance of a hybrid system. On balance, there is little to in dicate a distinct 'Pacific' model. Regardless, any attempt at labeling the Japanese welfare state is premature since it has not yet sunk its roots, institutionally speaking.
If a ‘migrant in the family’ is the prevalent pattern of care work in Mediterranean societies today, what are the emergent patterns in other familialistic societies, and what factors are driving or impeding them? We address these questions by examining the cases of Japan, Korea, Canada, and the US. Our analysis shows that while care work patterns in all these four countries resemble those of the Mediterranean countries in their increased use of migrant care workers, they also differ from the Mediterranean and among themselves, partly because of their varying conceptualizations of nationhood. We argue that concepts of nationhood are significant but not all-determining in efforts to reconcile care work and migration regimes.
The classification of the American welfare state as 'residual' does not square with the empirical facts. The US system is dominated by public provisions for welfare among which social insurance programme, particularly Social Security and Medicare, clearly predominate, while public pensions are more universal, redistributive and generous than in some European countries. Key differences persist with respect to a stronger reliance on private provisions in pensions and health, a stronger emphasis on work-conditioned benefits and a greater importance of selective schemes. The term 'work-conditioned' welfare state captures some of these key features more adequately than the concept of the 'residual' welfare state. EU member states have not converged towards the US; private welfare spending increased without catching up, and the relative importance of selective benefits shrunk in most countries. There is some convergence on the level of policy discourse, where the idee directrice of European social policies has changed from social protection to activation, whereas the US is moving closer to Europe with respect to health care and the acceptance of state responsibilities.
The introduction of innovative macro-measures has been one of the preferred means to account for identified limitations of traditional quantitative approaches in comparative analyses of the welfare state. However, these state-of-the-art indicators are not powerful enough to account for the nuanced politics of ‘welfare state change’ across mature welfare states as they produce inconsistent - and in several cases contrary - findings on the country level, which also appear to be at odds with the established notion of ‘regime dependence’ in the historical, case-study literature. Touching upon the limitations of the relevant indicators, we argue that they can at best be seen as crude approximations; this is the root cause for the above asymmetries. The ‘dependent variable problem’ within the comparative analysis of the welfare state is a problem of data and operational definitions as much as it is a problem of theoretical conceptualization. While the combination of nuanced quantitative and historical findings has become the norm in the broader literature, the article stresses the potential of disaggregated analyses of individual social policy domains within nations and its combination with detailed case-study analyses of social policy making.
In the universalistic Nordic welfare states, targeted anti-poverty policies have not been considered as specific aims of social policy. The situation has, however, altered in Finland and there is now a new element in Finnish social policy that can be called ‘anti-poverty policy’. This article explores when, how and why the policy paradigm relating to poverty changed in Finland. It includes an empirical analysis of the documents produced by key actors. Analyses show that the basic idea behind the policy prescriptions for alleviating poverty in Finland has changed from the idea of universalism to the idea of selectivism. The results emphasise that the Church, non-governmental organisations, the European Union’s Lisbon agenda as well as an active opposition politics had an important agenda-setting role behind the ideational turn from universalism to the idea of selectivism.
There are competing theoretical expectations and conflicting empirical results concerning the impact of partisanship on spending on active labour market policies (ALMPs). This paper argues that one should distinguish between different ALMPs. Employment incentives and rehabilitation programmes incentivize the unemployed to accept jobs. Direct job creation reduces the supply of labour by creating non-commercial jobs. Training schemes raise the human capital of the unemployed. Using regression analysis this paper shows that the positions of political parties towards these three types of ALMPs are different. Party preferences also depend on the welfare regime in which parties are located. In Scandinavia, left-wing parties support neither employment incentives nor direct job creation schemes. In continental and Liberal welfare regimes, left-wing parties oppose employment incentives and rehabilitation programmes to a lesser extent and they support direct job creation. There is no impact of partisanship on training. These results reconcile the previously contradictory findings concerning the impact of the Left on ALMPs.
This article comparatively analyses how the responsibilities towards childcare needs have been framed and addressed in Italy and the Netherlands following the increase in women’s labour market participation. According to the authors, the differing developments in these two countries partly disconfirm the thesis according to which facilitating family/work conciliation is at the heart of the new social policy paradigms in all Bismarckian welfare states. This concern has indeed been an explicit driver of social policy changes in the Netherlands, but not in Italy. The authors argue instead that these two countries offer evidence for the thesis that timing matters. Italy has been an ‘early bird’ in changing family law and in putting in place childcare policies, but has not been able to innovate these policies when the economic and social context has changed and, in particular, has not reframed them fully as work-family conciliating policies. The Netherlands, on the other hand, was comparatively late in changing family law and developing parental leaves and childcare policies, the latter being framed largely as work-family conciliation strategies. Following the liberal cultural and political developments of the 1990s, which favoured individualisation and freedom of choice, the changes in the Netherlands systematically introduced an increasing mix of individual, family and market responsibility via both commodification supported by tax expenditure and the underpinning of the one-and-a-half breadwinner model offered by the regulation of protected part-time labour contracts.
This article is about the transnational movement of policy discourses on childcare. It considers whether the spread of neoliberal ideas with their emphasis on marketisation, on the one hand, and a social investment discourse on the other, are leading to convergence in childcare arrangements in Nordic countries (Finland and Sweden) and liberal Anglo-Saxon countries (Australia and Canada). We find points of convergence around both themes at the level of policy discourse and continued diversity in the way these ideas are translated into actual policies. In other words, convergence is mediated by institutions and political realignments.
This paper surveys the debate regarding Esping-Andersen's typology of welfare states and reviews the modified or alternative typologies ensuing from this debate. We confine ourselves to the classifications which have been developed by Esping-Andersen's critics in order to cope with the following alleged shortcomings of his typology: (1) the misspecification of the Mediterranean welfare states as immature Continental ones; (2) the labelling of the Antipodean welfare states as belonging to the `liberal' regime type; (3) a neglect of the gender-dimension in social policy. We reconstruct several typologies of welfare states in order to establish, first, whether real welfare states are quite similar to others or whether they are rather unique specimens, and, second, whether there are three ideal-typical worlds of welfare capitalism or more. We conclude that real welfare states are hardly ever pure types and are usually hybrid cases; and that the issue of ideal-typical welfare states cannot be satisfactorily answered given the lack of formal theorizing and the still inconclusive outcomes of comparative research. In spite of this conclusion there is plenty of reason to continue to work on and with the original or modified typologies.
This paper uses fuzzy-set ideal type analysis to assess the conformity of European leave regulations to four theoretical ideal typical divisions of labour: male breadwinner, caregiver parity, universal breadwinner and universal caregiver. In contrast to the majority of previous studies, the focus of this analysis is on the extent to which leave regulations promote gender equality in the family and the transformation of traditional gender roles. The results of this analysis demonstrate that European countries cluster into five models that only partly coincide with countries’ geographical proximity. Second, none of the countries considered constitutes a universal caregiver model, while the male breadwinner ideal continues to provide the normative reference point for parental leave regulations in a large number of European states. Finally, we witness a growing emphasis at the national and EU levels concerning the universal breadwinner ideal, which leaves gender inequality in unpaid work unproblematized.
Are party preferences of atypical workers distinct from those in stable employment? The welfare state literature debates this question, but very few empirical studies have been conducted. We examine the German case, being an example of a welfare state with strong social insurance traditions where the rise of atypical employment has been conspicuous. In particular, we test the argument that preferences of labour market outsiders may not differ because outsiders share households with insiders. We find that labour market status significantly affects party preferences. Compared with standard employees, atypical workers have stronger preferences for small left-wing parties. Living together with a labour market insider neutralizes these party preferences, but this type of household is not very common. Moreover, atypical workers differ from the unemployed by not participating less in elections than insiders. Therefore, it is expedient to distinguish between different types of labour market outsiders.
This article identifies key trends over the last 20 years in residential and community care for older people in England, Finland and Australia, investigating the extent of ‘de-institutionalisation’, ‘privatisation’ and ‘individualisation’. The concepts of collective and individual ‘voice’ and ‘choice’ are used to interrogate the roles of collective and individual actors, older people and carers, in influencing policy formulation. While these three processes have been pursued by policy-makers in each country, their implementation is illuminated by understanding how ‘voice’ and ‘choice’ have been operationalised – individually and collectively – in each context. In the reshaping of eldercare in the three states, the analysis identifies the greater influence of claims-making by family carers, who provide the informal bastion of formal care services in the push to de-institutionalisation, in comparison with the collective and individual voices of older people as ‘service users’.
In July 2011, the European Commission released a Recommendation on access to a basic payment account. The contents of this Recommendation (where Member States are required to establish universal service obligations) imply that the Commission considers that services facilitating basic access to the financial system meet the requirements to be classified of general interest. This paper discusses this possibility after studying the phenomenon of the unbanked in the European Union and, more generally, in developed countries.
This article concerns the effectiveness of the European Employment Strategy (EES) as a governance tool. It analyses the policy measures of the Member States with regard to the commonly agreed guidelines and the country-specific recommendations of the Council. To analyse the policy measures the paper introduces a new quantitative method, which is applied to ten EU Member States during 2005–2009. After presenting the results, the paper subsequently analyses the level of follow-up with regard to future intended reforms within the Member States and their level of responses to the country-specific recommendations. Although it is difficult to attribute the reforms within the Member States to the EES, the analysis reveals that it is hard to get Member States to move beyond their national priorities, resulting in the EES being a weak governance tool.
Top-cited authors
Maurizio Ferrera
  • University of Milan
Wim van Oorschot
John Gelissen
  • Tilburg University
Wil Arts
  • Tilburg University
Marcia K. Meyers
  • University of Washington Seattle