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

FROM RELIEF TO MUTUAL OBLIGATION: WELFARE RATIONALITIES AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN 20TH - CENTURY AUSTRALIA

P. Harris

Journal of Sociology, vol. 37, 2001, p.5-26

Unemployment policy in Australia is currently informed by notions of labour force flexibility, welfare and mutual obligation. Things have not always been this way. Over the century there have been profound shifts in the way in which unemployment and government responsibilities have been conceptualised. Using the notion of "welfare rationalities" to guide the discussion, the paper records the nature of these changes. Three periods of employment policy are discussed: 1901 to 1939, 1941 to 1975 and 1975 to the present. It is proposed that each of these periods can be associated with a particular "welfare rationality": relief (1900 to mid-1930s); full employment (1940s to 1960s); and "mutual obligation" (1970s to present)

FROM WELFARE TO WORK: HAS WELFARE REFORM WORKED?

N. Kaushal and R. Kaestner

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 20, 2001, p.699-719

Analysis shows that welfare reform has induced less educated unmarried women to move from welfare to work in significant numbers. The imposition of time limits on welfare entitlement and other administrative reforms connected to it have increased the employment of unmarried women with 12 or fewer years of education by an estimated 363,171, approximately 28% of the decline in welfare caseloads for this group since 1994. Evidence also indicated that women who left welfare and entered employment worked approximately 29 hours per week, which even at low wages may significantly improve their financial status relative to public assistance.

GENDER ISSUES IN SOCIAL SECURITY POLICY OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: LESSONS FROM THE KERALA EXPERIENCE

S. Aran and T. G. Aran

International Social Security Review, vol.54, no. 4 2001, p.93-110

The Indian state of Kerala has pioneered the implementation of social security and welfare schemes for various categories of workers in the informal sector. These schemes have operated on the basis of social insurance, by constituting welfare funds through contributions from workers, employers and the government. Statutory boards administer these funds and the system has been successful on several fronts, ensuring regularity of employment and income. However women benefit less from the social protection system that men because the schemes do not take into account gender differences in earnings, gender division of labour and assumptions of gender roles.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN SOCIAL SECURITY POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION: A REVIEW

P. Henman and M. Adler

International Social Security Review, vol.54, no.4, 2001, p.23-47

This review of the role of information technologies in social security seeks to highlight the various uses to which they have been put, the transformations in policy and administration which they have made possible, and the ways in which they have been variously adopted in different social security regimes. Begins with a brief historical review and then considers more contemporary information technologies, focusing on computer processing; information infrastructure, electronic data exchange networks, data matching, expert systems, call centres, the Internet and smart cards.

MOVING UP, MOVING OUT, OR GOING NOWHERE? A STUDY OF EMPLOYMENT PATTERNS OF YOUNG WOMEN AND IMPLICATIONS FOR WELFARE MOTHERS

L. Pavetti and G. Acs

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol.20, 2001, p.721-736

Data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth are used to examine the employment patterns of young women in order to investigate the likelihood that women who turn to the welfare system for support will make the transition from "bad" to "good" jobs. Assuming that women who ever rely on state welfare have similar employment histories to those of women with similar characteristics who have never used welfare, an estimated 25% could be established in good jobs by the age of 26-27. An additional 40% would work steadily but in "bad" jobs, and more than a third would work only sporadically.

WORKFARE'S COUSIN: EXPLORING A LABOUR FORCE ENHANCEMENT EXPERIMENT IN CAPE BRETON

C. P. deRoche

Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 38, 2001, p.309-335

The Cape Breton Community Employment and Innovation Project aims to generate short-term jobs for employment-insurance and social - assistance recipients who are asked to forgo their benefits in exchange for work. The goal is to improve the local economy, not by effecting structural change or bolstering the functions of the welfare state, but rather by improving human resources for private sector use.

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