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Social Sector Reform in Transition Countries


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  • Christian Keller
  • Peter S. Heller


During the transition process, many existing social sector institutions and policies were significantly eroded and their underlying character changed. As a result, they often do not redistribute to the poorest, nor generally serve the role of facilitating economic change. Social sector reforms have therefore become necessary for reasons of social welfare as well as economic growth. The analysis of eleven transition countries—comprising some of the most advanced as well as some of the poorest transition economies—shows that almost all countries have started to undertake reforms; however, their individual efforts vary. Reform does not only stand for cutting back, but also requires in some cases a building up and in others a redesign of social safety nets; it needs to address insurance issues, budgetary transfer programs, the performance of the health and education sector, as well as the labor market regime and the approach to tax administration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/35.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/35

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Keywords: Transition economies; Social safety nets; Poverty; Economic growth; pension; health care; social insurance; retirement; unemployment; pensioners; pensions; disability; social transfers; transfer programs; early retirement; dependency ratios; dependency; social welfare; disability benefits; social assistance; unemployment benefits; pension system; social security; retirement age; social transfer; entitlements; social protection; retirement ages; contribution rates; disability pensions; welfare programs; social insurance contributions; pension reform; sick leave; payroll taxes; disability insurance; pension expenditure; aging; public pension; social reform; informal sector; dependency ratio; social problems; social insurance schemes; public pensions; pension reforms; pension formulae; pension systems; social insurance funds; social insurance systems; aging population; contribution payments; pension benefits; minimum income; replacement rates; replacement rate; unemployment insurance; social benefits; pension scheme; social assistance programs; contribution periods; pension laws; pension law; contribution rate; payroll tax; pension program; pillar systems; pillar pension; benefit levels; entitlement; unemployment rates; social insurance arrangements; pension spending; pension formula; excess capacities; minimum pension; pension fund; average retirement ages; disabled; gross wage; incentive problems; pension age; benefit entitlements; social insurance programs; pension payments; welfare benefits; social services; life expectancy; contribution collections; social security law; social welfare system; pension benefit; minimum period; tax rate; additional pension; health care system; victims; basic social services; pension policy; basic pension; lower pension; working pensioners; social insurance fund; eligibility criteria; public pillar; contribution period; tax collection agency; pension schemes; social welfare programs; social insurance plans; retirement options; social security system; social safety net; tax rates; funded pension; welfare system; pension base; pension ages; health systems; retirement plans; welfare perspective; social expenditures; public pension schemes; accrual rates;


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Cited by:
  1. Michael Bolle & José Caétano & Jaakko Kiander & Vladimir Lavrac & Renzo Orsi & Tiiu Paas & Katarzyna Zukrowska, 2002. "The Eastward Enlargement of the Eurozone - State of the Art Report," Eastward Enlargement of the Euro-zone Working Papers, Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence wp02, Free University Berlin, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, revised 01 Jan 2002.
  2. Klugman, Jeni & Micklewright, John & Redmond, Gerry, 2002. "Poverty in the Transition: Social Expenditures and the Working-Age Poor," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3389, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Raghbendra Jha & Tu Dang, 2009. "Vulnerability to Poverty in select Central Asian Countries," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(1), pages 17-50, June.
  4. Volkhart Vincentz & Michael Knogler, 2003. "Szenarien der mittelfristigen Konvergenz der EU-Beitrittsländer Polen, Slowakische Republik und Ungarn," Working Papers, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies) 244, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  5. Luigi, Bernardi & Mar, Chandler, 2004. "Main tax policy issues in the new members of Eu," MPRA Paper 18195, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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