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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2005): Welfare State - Overseas

Applied welfare economics

C. Jones

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005

This volume used important results in the welfare economics literature to extend a conventional Harberger cost-benefit analysis. After reviewing the properties of different welfare measures, a conventional welfare equation is used to evaluate marginal policy changes in a general equilibrium economy with tax. The main contribution of this book is to separate income effects for marginal policy changes in the shadow value of government revenue, which converts efficiency effects into dollar changes in private surplus.

Federalism and welfare state: new world and European experiences

H. Obinger, S. Leibfried and F. G. Castles (editors)

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005

In this volume ten leading experts question the prevailing view that federalism always inhibits the growth of social solidarity. The comparative study of the evolution of political institutions and welfare states in the six oldest federal states - Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the USA - reveals that federalism can facilitate as well as impede social policy development. The authors identify a set of important bypass structures within federal systems that have resulted from welfare state growth. In an era of retrenchment and unravelling unitary states, this study suggests that federalism may actually protect the welfare state, and that welfare states may enhance integration.

Introducing market forces into 'public services'

A. Seldon

Indianapolis, Indiana: Liberty Fund Inc, 2004

This volume includes six of the author's most pivotal writings ("Which way to welfare?", "Taxation and Welfare," "Remove the financing flaw in 'public' services," "Charge," "Micro-economic-controls-discplining the state by pricing," and "The riddle of the voucher") that discuss ways of paying for "public" services other than through general taxation, with focus on reductions and restoring purchasing power to consumers.

'Maximum feasible understanding' lessons from previous wars on poverty

P. Alcock

Social Policy and Society, vol.4, 2005, p.321 - 329

While area based agency (or social activation of the poor) may be critical to achieving social change, it cannot alone achieve poverty reduction where structural inequalities exist. This study, conscious of issues regarding the transferability of policy whether geographically or over time, finds, through examination of US and UK poverty reduction initiatives in the1960s and '70s, useful lessons for today's Area Based Initiatives.

Overstretched : the European families up against the demands of work and care

T. Kroger and J. Sipila (editors)

Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005 (Broadening perspectives in social policy, vol.38, no.6)

Combining work and care responsibilities is a challenge faced by families in many industrialized nations. This volume focuses on the everyday life of families who live under particularly strained conditions; that is, lone parent families, immigrant families, dual career families, and families who simultaneously care for both their children and an elderly family member. It provides a new perspective on the reality of European family life where care and paid work need to be woven together on a daily basis.

Welfare reforms and poverty dynamics: the duration and recurrence of poverty spells in Europe

D. Fouarge and R. Layte

Journal of Social Policy, vol.34, 2005, p.407-426

Article seeks to evaluate how different welfare states across Europe perform in terms of preventing recurrent and persistent poverty, and the individual risk factors that influence poverty duration. Analysis shows that welfare regimes strongly influence the persistence of poverty, with social democratic regimes being the most successful in reducing it. Liberal and Southern European regimes have both higher rates and longer durations of poverty. There is some evidence that the high initial rates of exit from poverty in social democratic and corporatist regimes decrease quickly, whereas those in liberal and Southern European countries remain high, suggesting lower incentives in the former.

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