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Safety net still in transition: labour market incentive effects of social support in Poland and Germany

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Author Info

  • Peter Haan

    ()
    (Goethe University in Frankfurt
    DIW-Berlin
    Centre for Economic Analysis (CenEA) in Szczecin)

  • Michal Myck

    ()
    (Centre for Economic Analysis (CenEA) in Szczecin
    DIW-Berlin
    Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

Many aspects of the economic transition which started in 1989 in Poland are by now complete. However, the route Polish governments have so far taken concerning the system of support for low-income families still implies very different poverty alleviation schemes compared to those found in many developed countries. We examine the Polish system of social assistance in a comparative context with Germany and focus on its implications for financial incentives to work. The paper shows the effect of extending the financial support system for poorest families in Poland on labour market incentives. We demonstrate that assumptions concerning sharing of resources among families within households have significant implications on the resulting financial incentives and importantly change the implied consequences of the reforms. This is the case especially for singleadult families. 74% of single adults without children, and 53% of lone parents in Poland live in multi-family households. Given the limited role of the state in providing a means-tested safety net, these multi-family arrangements play an important role as far as alleviating poverty is concerned, but they also have significant implications for incentives on the labour market.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute in its journal Bank i Kredyt.

Volume (Year): 41 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 5-34

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Handle: RePEc:nbp:nbpbik:v:41:y:2010:i:3:p:5-34

Note: Peter Haan thanks for the financial support of the German Science Foundation (DFG) in the project 1169 entitled “Work Incentives, Earnings-Related Subsidies, and Employment in Low-Wage Labour Markets”. Michal Myck acknowledges the support through the REVISER project, an RTN project financed by the European Commission (contract no. HPRN-CT-2002-00330). Data from the Polish Household Budgets Survey (Badanie Budżetów Gospodarstw Domowych, BBGD) collected by the Polish Central Statistical Office have been made available for development of the SIMPL microsimulation model by the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MPiPS). The support of the MPiPS in the process of SIMPL’s development is gratefully acknowledged. We are grateful for useful comments to two anonymous referees. The usual disclaimer applies.
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Related research

Keywords: social assistance; within-household sharing; work incentives; transition;

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  1. Peichl, Andreas & Pestel, Nico & Schneider, Hilmar, 2010. "Does Size Matter? The Impact of Changes in Household Structure on Income Distribution in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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