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

CHANGING WORK ETHIC AND WELFARE DEPENDENCE THROUGH WELFARE REFORM: THE 100-HOUR RULE WAIVER EXPERIMENT FOR AFDC-U

A C Lewin

Evaluation Review, vol.25, p.370-388.

The 100-hour rule was waived for the experiment group, allowing the primary wage earners in these families to work more than 100 hours per month without losing welfare eligibility. Results from the impact analysis indicated that waiving the 100-hour rule had no effect on primary wage earners' work activity and earnings. It also had little effect on time on aid or in reducing marital dissolution. Factors which may explain the failure of the incentive range from micro-level variables (eg. lack of knowledge of the incentive) to macro-level variables (eg. the structure of the labour market).

CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AND IN-HOSPITAL PATERNITY ESTABLISHMENT IN SEVEN CITIES

M D Turner

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.23, 2001, p.557-575.

Study assesses the strength of child support enforcement (CSE) in the first seven cities included in the US Fragile Families Study, with special emphasis on in-hospital paternity establishment. One factor contributing to poverty among non-marital children is the fact that most women who have children out of wedlock fail to become eligible to receive child support. Previous research suggests that paternity acknowledgement may be associated with greater financial support and higher paternal involvement. Paternity must be established before child support can be legally awarded. Research suggests that hospitals can significantly increase voluntary paternity acknowledgement rates.

CZECH SOCIAL REFORM AFTER 1989: CONCEPTS AND REALITY

M Potuček

International Social Security Review, vol.54, no.2/3, 2001, p.81-105.

Paper presents a description of the most important changes in Czech social policy after 1989, and offers and explanation for these changes in a broader cultural, economic and political framework. Recent developments in the labour market and new patterns in employment policy are discussed in detail. After that, the incidence of poverty and the ongoing social and economic stratification are associated with the new approaches to a social security system composed of three main tiers: social insurance, state social support and social assistance.

DISQUIETING QUIET IN HUNGARIAN SOCIAL POLICY

Z Ferge

International Social Security Review, vol. 54, no.2/3, 2001, p.107-126.

Paper reviews the social policy of the first three freely elected Hungarian governments. The first two had no clear ideological stance, while the third one is neo-conservative. The new social policy seeks to strengthen the nation, the family and the middle classes. Social spending is shrinking but skewed towards the better off, through, for example, non-refundable tax credits. The access to benefits of the poor and the unemployed has been made harsher. These developments have been accepted up to now with passivity. The poor have no voice, and the better off have no solidarity for fear of losing their advantages.

ENTERPRISING STATES: THE PUBLIC MANAGEMENT OF WELFARE-TO-WORK

M Considine

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001

This book examines the fundamental shifts in paradigms of governance in Western bureaucracies. It looks at the widespread use of privatisation, private firms and market methods to run care services. It examines the attempts to transform the concept of citizenship from ideals of entitlement and security to new notions of mutual obligation, selectivity and risk. The book looks at work undertaken in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand in this field.

ETHICS AND SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM

E Schokaert (ed.)

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001 (International studies of social security; vol.7).

This book considers how value judgements enter into any analysis of social security reform. One of the aims of the series of international studies is to compare different academic approaches with each other and with public policy perspectives. It also aims to provide reports of cross-nationally different approaches to the design and reform of welfare state programmes.

FRAGILE FAMILIES STUDY: SOCIAL POLICIES AND LABOUR MARKETS IN SEVEN CITIES

K Harknett et al

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.23, 2001, p.537-555.

The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study provides an opportunity to analyse how diverse sets of social policies interact with local labour market conditions to affect family structure and family and child well-being. This paper presents a theoretical framework in which to think about these linkages and categorises the first seven cities in terms of their welfare generosity, child support enforcement and labour market conditions.

MATERNITY, PATERNITY AND PARENTAL BENEFITS ACROSS EUROPE. PART 1

Anon

European Industrial Relations Review; no.329, 2001, p.21-27.

Presents the results of a survey of entitlements to maternity pay and leave, paternity leave and parental leave across seven EU countries. Results show that, under the influence of major changes in EU legislation during the 1990s, a process of harmonisation has started, but major differences between the approaches of the different European countries remain.

PACKAGING SUPPORT FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES: POLICY VARIATION ACROSS THE US

M K Meyers, J C Gornick and L R Peck.

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol.20, 2001, p.457-483.

Paper proposes a new approach to examining variation in social policy across US states. Concentrating on the subset of policies that influences the economic resources and poverty risk of families with children, analysis reveals that States cluster into groups with similar policy approaches. Over time, states are not engaging in the predicted "race to the bottom" following welfare reform. Relative policy effort appears stable across clusters of similar states over the 1994-1998 period, with the least supportive states continuing to provide very limited assistance and the most supportive states maintaining their policy commitments.

TESTING A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE TO PROMOTE RE-EMPLOYMENT AMONG DISPLACED WORKERS: THE CANADIAN EARNINGS SUPPLEMENT PROJECT (ESP).

H S Bloom et al

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol.20, 2001, p.505-523.

Article presents findings from a randomised experiment conducted in four Canadian provinces to measure the effects of a generous financial incentive that was designed to promote rapid re-employment among workers made redundant through changing economic conditions. Findings show that although persons offered the supplement understood its terms and conditions, only two out of ten actually received payments. Furthermore the supplement offer had little effect on job-search behaviour, employment prospects, or receipt of unemployment insurance.

TRANSITION COUNTRIES OF CENTRAL EUROPE ENTERING THE EUROPEAN UNION: SOME SOCIAL PROTECTION ISSUES

V Rys

International Social Security Review, vol.54, no.2/3, 2001, p.177-189.

Article discusses in detail some of the issues related to social security which will impact on the entry into the EU of transition countries of Eastern Europe. Covers "social dumping" and the central issue of maintaining equilibrium between economic and social development. Draws attention to the inherent weakness of the present EU policy which deals with economic aspects of social protection only, and fails to give the populations concerned a clear vision of attainable social goals for the future.

WELFARE, CHILD SUPPORT AND FAMILY FORMATION

R B Mincy and A T Dupree

Children and Youth Services Review, vol.23, 2001, p.577-601.

Article reports results of preliminary tests of the hypothesis that US welfare and child support policies designed to help families where the father discontinues financial support of children after divorce may have adverse effects on family formation among unwed parents who conceal income pooling.

WELFARE SHAKE-UP CUTS SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES

J Bone

Times, June 27th 2001, p.12.

A five-year time limit on entitlement to welfare benefits in the US is being credited with helping to reduce the number of single parent families. Census data have shown that the proportion of black children living with a single mother fell from 47.1% to 43.1% between 1995 and 2000, while the proportion of Hispanic children in a similar home dropped from 24.6% to 21.3% . For whites, the proportion of children with single mothers decliend from 12.8% to 12%. The 1996 welfare reforms which imposed time limits on government handouts could be an important factor in this change.