Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2009): Social security - overseas

Preferences for unemployment insurance and labor-market risks: over-time developments in Germany and the United States

A. Duman

Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, vol.25, 2009, p. 239-253

This article attempts to present an explanation for changes in demand for social insurance by looking at skill-specificity characteristics and labour market risks. The research did not find a robust relationship between skill-specificity and changes in unemployment insurance preferences. This might arise from the fact that there is no one-to-one correspondence between skill specificity and job loss risk at the occupational level. Hence, highly specific and skilled workers do not automatically demand greater social protection. However, a significant and robust relationship was found between occupational unemployment rate and social insurance demand.

The private consequences of public policies: active labor market policies and social ties in Europe

C.J. Anderson

European Political Science Review, vol. 1, 2009, p.341-373

The author argues that active labour market policies have the potential to shape the quality of people's private lives by enhancing their opportunities and motivation for social interaction. Analyses of data collected in 17 European countries show that individuals in countries with higher spending on ALMPs report more frequent social interactions and a reduced sense of social exclusion. The positive influence of labour market policies on social ties is found to be stronger among people whose labour market position is most precarious.

Reforms of welfare administration and policy

International Journal of Public Administration, vo.32, 2009, p. 1001-1069

Since the 1990s governments of capitalist countries have sought to reform social protection policy and administration. Social protection as a system of temporary economic assistance in an economy defined by full employment has been superseded by measures to activate the unemployed. The delivery and administration of employment and social security services has undergone significant change through building on reforms associated with the New Public Management movement of the 1980s. These reforms slimmed down direct government control of service delivery through privatisation and decentralisation, leading to fragmentation. Since the 1990s, governments have sought to improve coordination in service delivery and to eliminate the inefficient use of resources through duplication. This special issue looks at the impact of these developments on social security administration in the UK, Norway and Germany.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web