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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2004): Social Security - Overseas

ACTIVATION IN SCANDINAVIAN WELFARE POLICY

R. Halvorsen and P.H. Jensen

European Societies, Vol.6, 2004, p.461-483

The article traces the development of activation in Denmark and Norway over the past fifty years. It concludes that the two countries have universalistic activation regimes, where benefits are generous, sanctions are rare and activation, in principle, is tailored to individual needs and capacities.

CONTINENTAL INCONSISTENCIES ON THE PATH TO ACTIVATION

J.-C. Barbier and V. Fargion

European Societies, Vol.6, 2004, p.437-460

The article explores the similarities and differences in the activation policies of Italy and France. In particular, it compares the two countries' policies on unemployment insurance, employment programmes, family benefits and social contributions. It finds that although the countries are similar in many ways, France's achievements in activation seem more important than Italy's, where institutional features have impaired the development of comprehensive strategies.

CONTINUITIES WITHIN PARADIGMATIC CHANGE

S. Wright, A. Kopac and G. Slater

European Societies, Vol.6, 2004, p.511-534

The article examines the development of activation in Slovenia and the UK in the context of third-order change, comparing and contrasting the key challenges of welfare systems and labour markets in the two countries. It considers why each country introduced the policy and the outcomes of its implementation for their citizens.

FOR OHIO'S JOBLESS WHO RECEIVE NO DOLE, THIS IS A REFERENDUM ON THE WELFARE STATE

D.Teather and L. Elliot

The Guardian, Oct. 25th 2004, p.19

Cleveland, in the battleground state of Ohio, was recently judged the poorest big city in America by the US Census Bureau. The United States government will pay just 26 weeks of benefits before cutting workers loose to fend for themselves. The Bush administration, convinced the economy is on the rebound, recently ended a programme extending the payments a further 13 weeks. There are 93,000 people in Ohio who are now living without unemployment benefits. The article looks at how both Bush and Kerry's plans and pledges would affect the state's welfare plans.

ISOLATING THE FAMILY CAP EFFECTS ON FERTILITY BEHAVIOR: EVIDENCE FROM NEW JERSEY'S FAMILY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM EXPERIMENT

M.J. Camasso

Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol.22, 2004, p.453-467

The study examines the unbundled effects of a family cap policy and enhanced JOBS programme on the fertility of 2100 women on welfare who were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups as part of New Jersey's welfare reform programme. Data were collected between 1992 and 1997 on births, adoptions, contraceptive pill use and contraceptive sterilisation from welfare and Medicaid claim files. Results suggest that the family cap lowered births and increased abortions and contraceptive use for women who were short term welfare users. Enhanced JOBS exerted an independent effect on the fertility of more chronic recipients.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF THE DETERMINANTS OF TANF RECIPIENTS IN THE USA AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS

Y. Hsing

International Journal of Social Economics, vol.31, 2004, p.1005-1013

Author attempts to examine the factors which account for the substantial decline in the number of welfare recipients following the implementation of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Lower welfare rolls are associated with smaller cash benefits, fewer food stamps, less Medicaid, a lower percentage of unmarried mothers, lower school dropout rates, lower unemployment and more money for case workers.

WELFARE FOR THE UNEMPLOYED IN BRITAIN AND GERMANY: WHO BENEFITS?

F. McGinnity

Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2004

In recent decades the problem of unemployment has generated debate on how national governments should address this issue. This book sheds light on a key debate in unemployment policy - that of whether unemployment benefits should be insurance-based or means-tested. It compares the impact of British and German benefit systems on poverty, the duration of unemployment and the spread of workless households during the 1990s. In particular, the author focuses on the important interactions between the state, labour markets and household structures.
In Germany unemployment is regarded as a risk which individuals insure themselves against through the state, whereas in Britain compensation for the unemployed is allocated primarily through means-tested benefits paid for from tax revenue. These contrasting welfare scenarios make this study of the differences in welfare provision and the effects they have on the lives of the unemployed especially valuable.

WELFARE TO WORK: THE CENTRELINK EXPERIENCE

D. Hargreaves

Working Brief, No.155, 2004, p.15-16

The article describes the work of Centrelink, which delivers services on behalf of ten different Australian government departments. It has a critical role as the gateway to participation in Australians Working Together, the Commonwealth government's welfare to work programme.

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