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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2001): Social Security - Overseas

ACHIEVEMENT BEHAVIOR AMONG CHILDREN OF WELFARE RECIPIENTS, WELFARE LEAVERS AND LOW-INCOME SINGLE MOTHERS

S. L. Hofferth et al

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 747-774

Results show that children whose mothers are able to leave and remain off social security benefits score consistently better on cognitive tests of their development. However there is evidence that children's emotional well-being may suffer during the parental transition from cash assistance to self-sufficiency. Data came from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement, a nationally representative sample of children under 13 collected in 1997.

BENEFIT DEPENDENCY AND THE DYNAMICS OF THE WELFARE STATE: COMPARING SWEDEN AND THE NETHERLANDS

M. Einerhand, I. Eriksson and M. van Leuvensteijn

International Social Security Review, vol. 54, Jan. - Mar. 2001, p. 3-17

Paper compares the Netherlands and Sweden, which had periods of recession respectively in 1982-85 and 1992-95. The Netherlands at that time had a traditional benefits system while Sweden had a more active welfare system. Results show that although benefit dependency at the macroeconomic level is more or less the same, behind this lies a different pattern of mobility of individuals between benefits and jobs and a different pattern of adjustment of the macroeconomy. These differences are partly explained by the larger number of people drawing benefits, such as disability benefits, long term in the Netherlands. This is, however, not sufficient to account for the large differences observed in dynamics. Characteristics of the welfare state account for that.

CHANGING POLICIES, CHANGING IMPACTS: EMPLOYMENT AND EARNINGS OF CHILD-CARE SUBSIDY RECIPIENTS IN THE ERA OF WELFARE REFORM

M. Queralt, A. D. Witte, and H. Griesinger

Social Service Review, vol. 74, 2000, p. 588-619

Article examines the impact of increased childcare funding on the employment and earnings of 4,399 current and former welfare families in Miami-Dade County. Finds that the dramatic increase in funding for childcare in the early stages of welfare reform significantly increased the likelihood of these clients getting a job, even those with substantial barriers to employment.

CREATING A NEW WELFARE REALITY: EARLY IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES PROGRAM

L. A. Pavetti

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 601-616

Article describes the new welfare reality which has emerged in the US since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996. Focuses on four key dimensions of the new system: conditional availability of cash assistance; promotion of rapid entry into the labour market; increased emphasis on the provision of work supports; and limited expansion of services for non-working TANF recipients.

HIGH EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY: VISION OR ILLUSION IN GLOBALIZED WORLD

U. Walwei

International Social Security Review, vol. 54, Jan. - Mar. 2001, p. 19-39

Article explores the question of how the employment prospects of low-skilled workers in industrialised countries can be improved. Options for the state include training programmes, reduction of income support, welfare-to-work programmes, wage subsidies, tax credits and labour market deregulation.

HOW TEEN MOTHERS ARE FARING UNDER WELFARE REFORM

A. Kalil and S. K. Danziger

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 775-798

Article examines socio-economic and psychological well-being among 88 low-income teenage mothers. Half of the young mothers received cash welfare assistance which was conditional on their residing with an adult and attending school. Although most appeared to be complying with the requirements of the new welfare rules and were satisfied with their living arrangements, many were faring poorly on dimensions of psychological well-being and life stress.

HUMAN CAPITAL, PHYSICAL HEALTH, AND MENTAL HEALTH OF WELFARE RECIPIENTS: CO-OCCURRENCE AND CORRELATES

S. K. Danziger, A. Kalil, and N. J. Anderson

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 635-654

Article reviews the evidence on the extent to which human capital, mental health and physical health problems present difficulties for low-income single mothers and welfare recipients in the labour market. Then presents an analysis of data from the Women's Employment Survey (WES), a study of low-income women drawn from the welfare rolls in the post-PWORA era. Using these data, authors examine the prevalence of these types of problems, their co-occurrence and their association with women's labour market outcomes.

AN INSIDER VIEW: KNOWLEDGE AND OPINIONS OF WELFARE FROM AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS IN POVERTY

R. Levine Coley, A. M. Kuta and P. L. Chase-Lansdale

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 707-726

Presents African American girls' views of welfare reform at the cusp of welfare legislation in 1996. The girls' saw welfare as an import safety net, but also had negative views of welfare recipients and the effects of welfare on recipients. The vast majority expressed agreement with work requirements, and about half believed that a discontinuation of welfare support would change adolescent sexual and child bearing behaviour.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: WELFARE-RELIANT WOMEN TALK ABOUT THEIR JOB ASPIRATIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF WELFARE REFORM

E. K. Scott, A. S. London, and K. Edin

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 727-746

The women interviewed tended to agree that they would be better off in work than on benefits and were optimistic about their job prospects. However they had very low job aspirations, and were aiming at work that was low-paid and offered no health insurance. In order to aspire to better paid and more secure jobs, the women would need more educational qualifications and training. Authors suggest that providing cash assistance while welfare recipients upgrade their skills is critical for meeting the self-sufficiency goals of reform.

MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS AMONG SINGLE MOTHERS: IMPLICATIONS FOR WORK AND WELFARE REFORM

R. Jayakody and D. Stauffer

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 617-634

Mental health problems may prevent women from undertaking the tasks necessary to find employment or women with these problems may lack the self-confidence needed to take on new challenges. Findings suggest that mental health problems among single mothers deserve greater attention as a barrier to self-sufficiency and highlight the need for more effective intervention and treatment efforts to improve economic and social outcomes.

ORGANIZATIONAL ALTERNATIVES FOR COMPANIES' MANAGEMENT OF OCCUPATIONAL RISKS: THE EXAMPLES OF SPAIN AND ARGENTINA

E. Suarez Serrano and E. Loredo Fernández

International Social Security Review, vol. 54, Jan. - Mar. 2001, p. 41-57

Occupational accident insurance schemes in Spain and Argentina are analysed with reference to the theory of organisational economics. Spain has 75 years' experience of such schemes, while in Argentina they have only recently been introduced. Although the two models have similar goals, their differences, in terms of competition, regulation and ownership, lead to different incentives for workers, companies, insurers and regulatory bodies.

WELFARE REFORM IN AMERICA: A CLASH OF POLITICS AND RESEARCH

D. M. Zuckerman

Journal of Social Issues, vol. 56, 2000, p. 587-600

Article describes how political and public pressures and compelling anecdotes overpowered the efforts of progressive public policy organizations and researchers, resulting in the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. This legislation focused on getting families off welfare rather getting them out of poverty, and was passed without any solid information about its likely impact.