Why has social security become less pro poor?
AbstractThe present paper argues that we are witnessing an increase of the tensions between the three main goals of social security systems (poverty alleviation, securing living standards and prevention) and that, as a consequence, the poverty-reducing capacity of social transfers has come under pressure. The paper focuses on the working age population in 25 EU countries and on the good years before the crisis. Three different data sources are used: ECHP, its successor EU-SILC and the German SOEP. The paper augments the traditional pre-post approach by considering more direct policy indicators such as spending levels, observed average benefit levels and theoretical tax benefit packages and by focussing on the distinction between work-poor and work-rich households. We find that in many countries the relative decline in poverty reduction has primarily affected work-poor households. This observation is confirmed by more direct policy indicators. It may support the hypothesis that in many countries the poverty alleviation function of social protection has come under pressure as a consequence of a shift of attention towards preventing benefit dependency by recommodification on the one hand and ‘securing living standards’ for working families on the other hand.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp in its series ImPRovE Working Papers with number 13/05.
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Europe; welfare state; poverty; redistribution; work intensity; social exclusion;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- O52 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGE-2013-07-28 (Economics of Ageing)
- NEP-ALL-2013-07-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-07-28 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EUR-2013-07-28 (Microeconomic European Issues)
- NEP-PUB-2013-07-28 (Public Finance)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tim Goedemé).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.