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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2003): Social Security - Overseas

THE CHOICE OF PAID CHILDCARE, WELFARE AND LABOR SUPPLY OF SINGLE MOTHERS

T. Andrén

Labour Economics, vol.10, 2003, p.133-147

Study applied a simulation method to estimate a structural labour supply model, incorporating welfare participation and paid childcare utilisation for single mothers in Sweden. The simulation suggested that an increase in the social assistance norm would effect a change from full time to part-time and non work. In contrast a reduction in childcare costs would reduce part-time working but would not tempt the economically inactive to join the labour market.

DO CHILDREN FROM WELFARE FAMILIES OBTAIN LESS EDUCATION?

I. Ku and R. Plotnick

Demography, vol. 40, 2003, p.151-170

Study analysed whether parents' receipt of public assistance impacts on children's educational attainment in early adulthood, independent of its effect through family income. Used data from the US Panel Study of Income Dynamics with information on parents' welfare receipt over the first 15 years of childhood. Results showed that greater exposure to welfare is significantly associated with children's poorer educational attainment.

HAS WELFARE REFORM CHANGED TEENAGE BEHAVIORS?

R. Kaestner, S. Korenman and J. O'Neill

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol. 22, 2003, p.225-248

Data from the US National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979 and 1997 cohorts were used to compare welfare use, fertility, educational attainment and marriage among teenage women in the years before and immediately following welfare reform. Results suggest that welfare reform has been associated with reduced welfare receipt, reduced fertility and reduced marriage among disadvantaged young women. Teenage mothers in the post-welfare reform era are less likely to receive public assistance and more likely to live with parents than in the pre-reform era.

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY, SOCIAL POLICY AND ECONOMIC CONDITIONS: FOOD BANK USAGE IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA 1990-2000

J. H. Michalski

Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, vol. 40, 2003, p.65-92

Paper examines trends in the social and economic characteristics of food bank users in Greater Toronto between 1990 and 2000. Found that rising housing costs contributed significantly to depth of poverty among food bank users, with more than three in five spending at least half of their available income to cover shelter costs. Following Ontario social assistance cuts in the years 1996-2000, the economic vulnerability of low income households appeared to intensify even further. Net of all other effects, food bank users who had housing affordability problems in the late 1990s experienced even greater depths of poverty than similar households in the early 1990s.

IMMIGRATION, STATE SUPPORT AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF THE ELDERLY IN ISRAEL

A. C. Lewin and H. Stier

Research on Aging, vol. 25, 2003, p.195-223

Using data from a nationally representative sample of older people in Israel, study found that immigrants entering the country in their youth were able to accumulate entitlements to benefits through consistent employment in better paid jobs. Thus, they could achieve economic independence in old age. The findings also underscore the role of the state in compensating people who came to Israel later in life and were unable to accumulate work related benefits for their old age.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND THE GOVERNANCE OF SOCIAL SECURITY

P. Henman and M. Adler

Critical Social Policy, vol. 23, 2003, p.139-164

Based on a study of computerisation in the social security systems of 13 OECD countries, article demonstrates that information technologies have generally been used to increase the control of staff and claimants by management rather than to empower them.

SAVINGS FROM INTEGRATING ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS FOR SOCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES IN RUSSIA

L. J. Gallagher and others

Public Administration and Development, vol. 23, 2003, p.177-195

Local governments in Russia now have primary responsibility for the administration of social assistance programmes. Over the past few years there has also been a move towards means-testing of social assistance. Article reports on a pilot project undertaken to improve the efficiency of programme administration conducted in the city of Arzamas. The pilot introduced a single application form for all the major social assistance programmes in the city, and required that applicants visit only one office and supply one set of documents verifying their eligibility for assistance. Benefit processing is also consolidated. The new system has brought substantial improvements in staff efficiency, and impressive time savings for clients.

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