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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2007): Social security - overseas

The evaluation of active labour market policies: measures, Public Private Partnerships and benchmarking

J. de Koning (editor)

Cheltenham: Elgar, 2007

The book argues that active labour market policies are necessary to improve the position of the unemployed but have so far performed relatively poorly. It tries to identify ways to improve active labour market policy and considers three means of doing so: improving the quality by better targeting and by better-designed measures, more efficient implementation and delivery, and better performance by benchmarking the various implementation agencies involved. The book also contains detailed descriptions of the new delivery systems in Australia and the Netherlands. These are countries that have privatized a considerable part of the implementation of reintegration services for the unemployed and therefore can provide valuable lessons.

How is 'welfare-to-work' shaped by contingencies of economy, welfare policy and human capital?

T. Cheng

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 16, 2007, p. 212-219

This research set out to understand how the economy, state-level welfare policies and also individual human capital affect employment status, poverty status and enrolment for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families among a sample of welfare mothers drawn from the Survey of Income Program Participation. The analysis showed that mothers in states having more restrictive welfare policies faced a relatively high likelihood of taking up low-paid jobs and living, with their children, below the poverty line.

Undeclared work: a new source of employment?

P. Renooy

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 27, 2007, p. 250-270

It is generally agreed that the major reason for engaging in undeclared work in the informal sector of the economy is avoidance of tax and social security payments. There is increasing interest among governments in encouraging the transformation of undeclared work into formal employment through a range of incentives. This article considers two such innovative schemes: service vouchers in Belgium and 'mini-jobs' exempt from social security payments in Germany.

Welfare reform and liberal governance: the disciplining of Cambodian-American bodies

M.H. Truong

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 16, 2007, p. 258-268

One of the central aims of contemporary American social welfare is to instil self-reliance into citizens. Welfare policies and programmes are intended to cultivate self-sufficient individuals who will not become a charge on the public purse. However many Southeast Asian refugees in the USA are unfit to be economically independent. Based on in-depth interviews with Cambodian-American families in Long Beach, California who are in receipt of welfare, this article shows how they are subjected to stringent and intrusive moral and social regulation in exchange for meagre and temporary assistance. Welfare recipients are pushed into dead-end jobs, penalised through sanctions for non-cooperation, expelled from the rolls through time limits, and harassed by abusive caseworkers.

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