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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2005): Social Security - Overseas

Delivering active labour market policy through vouchers: experiences with training vouchers in Germany

O. Bruttel

International Review of Administrative Sciences, vol.71, 2005, p.391-404

Article explores the new training voucher system in Germany as an internationally innovative use of vouchers in active labour market policy. Advocates of vouchers argue that they not only increase individual choice and empower jobseekers as consumers, but also produce competition among training providers. Based on experience of the training voucher in Germany, author found that low-qualified jobseekers in particular often lacked the necessary information to make informed choices. The promotion of competition often falters because there are insufficient providers in some areas. The breaking of links between public institutions and private training providers also reduces the potential for policy co-ordination.

General child benefit fund experiments in providing differentiated services

A.-M. Serres

Evaluation Review, vol.29, 2005, p.425-440

People with complex needs and from marginalised groups have difficulty in claiming their entitlements from the General Child Benefit Funds in France due to the labyrinthine procedures involved. Article describes an experiment under which five Caisses d'Allocations Familiales and their partner agencies devised individualised procedures for working with vulnerable clients unable to cope with the standard service.

Redistributing wealth to families: the advantages of the MYRIADE model

F. Legendre, J.-P. Lorgnet and F. Thibault

Evaluation Review, vol.29, 2005, p.467-489

Study aims to shed light on the main characteristics of the French system for redistributing wealth to families through tax revenues and social transfers using the MYRIADE microsimulation model.

The unfreedom of being other: Canadian lone mothers' experiences of poverty and 'life on the cheque'

E.M. Power

Sociology, vol.39, 2005, p.643-660

Article explores how neo-liberal governments control social groups who deviate from accepted social norms, using lone mothers on welfare assistance as a case study. On the one hand, the lone mothers are stigmatised as undeserving "welfare bums". They are kept under control through surveillance and through arbitrary refusal of help with unexpected needs. On the other hand, they are constructed as "flawed consumers" without the financial resources to participate in consumer society. It is hoped that this type of study will highlight the costs of neo-liberal forms of rule and provide insights into how they can be contested.

Welfare reform, earnings and incomes: new evidence from the survey of program dynamics

L.S. Connolly and C.E. Marston

Contemporary Economic Policy, vol.23, 2005, p.493-512

Authors investigate how welfare reform has affected earnings and incomes of benefits recipients using the recently released Survey of Program Dynamics (SPD). They find that pre-TANF waivers positively affected the earnings and incomes of both female high-school graduates and non-graduates, but the effect is statistically significant only for non-graduates. In contrast, TANF policies are detrimental to non-graduates but improve economic outcomes for graduates.

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