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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2003): Social Care - Overseas

ADMINISTRATIVE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED FOR SOCIAL SECURITY IN CONNECTION WITH ACCESSION TO THE EU: THE CASE OF SLOVENIA

R. Axelsson

European Journal of Social Security, vol. 4, 2002, p. 241-258

The European Union requires a co-ordination of social security schemes in order to facilitate the free movement of workers between member states. Based on a qualitative study, this article describes the structure of the social security system in Slovenia and analyses the administrative challenges of the approaching EU accession. The institutions in the health and pensions sectors appear to be well prepared for accession, while the institutions in the employment and family sectors need to develop both their internal organisation and their information systems in order to fulfil the requirements of the EU.

EFFECTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WORK-SEARCH REQUIREMENTS: THE MARYLAND EXPERIMENT

D H Klepinger, T R Johnson and J M Joesch

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 56, 2002, p.3-22

Paper describes findings from a 1994 experimental evaluation of alternative work-search requirements in the Unemployment Insurance programme. Requiring additional job applications or proof of job applications reduced unemployment insurance receipt by one week and $115 per claimant. A requirement to attend a job-search workshop reduced UI receipt by half a week and $75 per claimant. Concludes that the burdensome nature of the work-search requirements cause many claimants to leave the programme. Suggests they are goaded into more intensive job search activity.

EXITING WELFARE IN THE 1990s: DID PUBLIC POLICY INFLUENCE RECIPENTS' BEHAVIOR?

S L Hofferth, S Stanhope and K M Harris

Population Research and Policy Review, vol. 21, 2002, p.433-472

Paper evaluates the association between waiver policies implemented at the state level in the USA prior to 1996 and the monthly rate of leaving public assistance of recipient female family heads with children under 18, using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Waiver policies which tightened employment rules were successful in triggering exits from public assistance through work. Incentive policies which encouraged work by allowing mothers to retain benefits as their earnings rose kept people on public assistance longer. None of the work incentive policies was associated with exits for other reasons.

GENDER AND SOCIAL SECURITY: SOME LESSONS FROM EUROPE

A. C. Ståhlberg

European Journal of Social Security, vol. 4, 2002, p. 227-239

Different social security schemes affect men and women differently. Article compares the family or single earner model with the individual or dual earner model and examines their impact of gender inequality. Goes on to argue that, even where social security systems are designed to be gender neutral, they can have a different impact on men and women when applied in a context that is systematically structured by gender. Shows how supposedly gender-neutral rules in sickness benefit, survivors' pensions and old age pensions have impacted on men and women in Sweden.

THE POLITICAL STATUS OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BENEFITS IN EUROPEAN WELFARE STATES: LESSONS FROM REFORMS TO PROVISION FOR THE UNEMPLOYED IN FRANCE AND GREAT BRITAIN

D. Clegg

European Journal of Social Security, vol, 4, 2002, p.201-226

Social assistance is widely recognised as being a more politically vulnerable form of social security provision than social insurance. It is postulated that where social provision enjoys broadly based public support, social assistance will benefit from a "halo" of political approval. On the other hand where social provision has narrow public support, the vulnerability of social assistance is increased. Article applies this theory to recent reforms of employment protection in France and Britain.

POVERTY IN EUROPE IN THE MID-1990s: THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MEANS-TESTED BENEFITS

D. Sainsbury and A. Morissens

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 12, 2002, p.307-327

Article examines the income maintenance policies of several EU countries and the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. It addresses the issue of the effectiveness of these policies, and especially means-tested safety nets, in alleviating poverty. Authors use data from the Luxembourg Income Study to analyse the incidence of poverty and poverty reduction for the whole population and vulnerable groups (the unemployed, lone mothers, large families and older people). During the 1990s poverty rates increased in most countries and for most vulnerable groups. Means tested benefits assumed a growing importance in alleviating poverty and several countries have improved their schemes to guarantee a minimum income. At the same time reforms have produced diversity in safety nets across Europe.

THE URBAN GEOGRAPHY OF WELFARE REFORM: SPATIAL PATTERNS OF CASELOAD DYNAMICS IN DETROIT

S. W. Allard

Social Science Quarterly, vol. 83, 2002, p.1044-1062

Data showed that welfare receipt in Detroit was an inner city phenomenon, with most long-term continuous recipients, most African-American recipients and most recipients from large households residing in the City centre. These groups were trapped on welfare because they lacked access to local jobs, and means to travel.

THE VULNERABLE LIFE COURSE: POVERTY AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE AMONG MIDDLE-AGED AND OLDER WOMEN

E. Gunnarsson

Ageing and Society, vol. 22, 2002, p.709-728

Paper examines the life courses and current incomes of 14 poor and near-poor older Swedish women. All the women had been full-time mothers and had worked only part-time in low paid jobs. Their formal employment histories limited their entitlement to pensions and other financial assistance in old age, because the Swedish social security system favours those with stable and long-term participation in the labour market.

WELFARE TRENDS IN SWEDEN: BALANCING THE BOOKS FOR THE 1990s

J. Palme

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 12, 2002, p.329-346

Presents on overview of the impact of the economic crisis of the early 1990s on social protection in Sweden.

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