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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 1999): Social Security - Overseas

ECONOMIC REFORMS, PUBLIC TRANSFERS AND SOCIAL SAFETY NETS FOR THE POOR: A STUDY OF INDIA AND CHINA

K. C. Roy and J. C. H. Chai
International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 26, 1999, p. 222-238

Paper analyses the trade-off between economic reforms and economic and social security in India and China. Findings show that both countries' attempts to minimise the social costs of economic reforms have been unsuccessful.

JOB GUARANTEES AND THE UNEMPLOYED: LESSONS FROM AUSTRALIAN WELFARE REFORM

D. Finn
Journal of Social Policy, vol. 28, 1999, p. 53-71

Describes and evaluates the Job Compact created by the 1993-96 Australian Labour government. Through the Compact the government created a new reciprocal obligation under which it would offer all the long-term unemployed active assistance and they would be under an obligation to accept reasonable offers.

PUBLIC WELFARE AND HUMAN SERVICES: NEW DIRECTIONS UNDER TANF?

J. L. Hagan
Families in Society, vol. 80, 1999, p. 78-90.

The implications of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) for the roles of human services practitioners in direct practice, management, staff development, policy analysis and advocacy, and research are considered. The passage of TANF has fundamentally transformed the US welfare system for poor women and their children. These profound changes have the potential to alter the nature of state and local welfare agencies, and to create new and expanded roles for human service workers.

SIMPLIFIED RULES ON SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEMES PROPOSED

EU focus, Issue 26, 1999, p. 16-17.

Reports that the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council Regulation designed to simplify and reform the member states' social security schemes with a view to guaranteeing the social security rights of people moving within the EU.

SOCIAL ASSISTANCE: RECENT TRENDS AND THEMES

J. Ditch and N. Oldfield
Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 9, 1999, p. 65-76.

Portugal, and, to a lesser extent, Turkey are alone in having sought to introduce and extend social assistance provision, albeit from a very low base. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have made little attempt to overhaul either the key objectives or the operation of their schemes. Among English speaking countries there is a shared concern to hold back the growth in expenditure on social assistance, to introduce and implement more exacting conditionality rules for receipt of benefit, and a commitment to encourage lone parents to work.

SOCIAL SECURITY FOR THE INFORMAL SECTOR: A NEW CHALLENGE FOR THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

W. van Ginneken
International Social Security Review, vol. 52, 1999, p. 49-69.

Informal sector workers in developing countries are often not willing or able to contribute a significant percentage of their incomes to finance formal sector social insurance benefits that do not meet their immediate needs. Therefore informal sector workers themselves have set up health and other social insurance schemes that better meet their needs and contributory capacity.

THE SOCIAL SECURITY SCHEME IN THAILAND: WHAT LESSONS CAN BE DRAWN?

V. Tangcharoensathien, A. Supachutikul, and J. Lertiendumrong
Social Science and Medicine, vol. 48, 1999, p. 913-923.

The Social Security Scheme was launched in 1990, covering formal sector private employees for non-work related sickness, maternity and invalidity including cash benefits and funeral grants. The scheme is financed by tripartite contributions from government, employers and employees, each of 1.5% of payroll. The scheme pays health care providers on a flat-rate capitation basis for both inpatient and outpatient care. Registration of the insured with the contractor hospital was a necessary consequence of the chosen capitation payment system. Paper reviews the operation of the scheme, and explores the implications of capitation payment and registration for utilisation levels and provider behaviour.

A COMPARISON OF TWO WELFARE-TO-WORK CASE MANAGEMENT MODELS

T. Brock and K. Harknett
Social Service Review, vol. 72, 1998, p. 493-520.

An experiment in Columbus, Ohio randomly assigned clients in a compulsory welfare-to-work programme to one of two case management models. A traditional model required clients to interact with two staff members, an income maintenance worker who processed welfare benefits and an employment services worker who enrolled clients in work activities. An integrated model required clients to interact with one worker for both functions. Over two years, the integrated approach led to significantly higher participation in programme activities and significantly larger welfare reductions than the traditional approach but did not lead to significantly higher rates of employment and earnings.

PERMANENT EXITS FROM PUBLIC ASSISTANCE: THE IMPACT OF DURATION, FAMILY AND WORK

G. D. Sandefur and S. T. Cook
Social Forces, vol. 77, 1998, p. 763-786.

Data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth show that the likelihood of permanently leaving AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) decreases with the length of time women receive benefits. Marital status, number of children and qualifications for work, as well as availability of employment, are also associated with the likelihood of leaving AFDC permanently.

REFORMING EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: TRANSCENDING THE POLITICS OF THE STATUS QUO

G. E. Hale
Canadian Public Policy, vol. 24, 1998, p. 429-451.

The Employment Insurance (EI) reforms of 1994-96 were the culmination of a process of incremental reforms stretching over almost a decade. During this period the Canadian Federal Government effectively restructured the programme. The reforms reduced work disincentives, promoted greater workplace attachment and strengthened the programme as a tool for economic stabilisation by "pre-funding" benefits and running up huge surpluses during the economic expansion after 1994.

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