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Reducing Poverty in Estonia Through Activation and Better Targeting

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  • Sarah Flèche
  • Artur Radziwill

Abstract

The crisis revealed the need for a strategic review of the existing social protection system in Estonia. Extreme income fluctuations on one side and low social benefits on the other side exposed fragile groups in the population to a significant poverty risk. The government has recently commissioned several studies to prepare a systematic reform of the system. The spectrum of options is wide and includes increased generosity, further efficiency gains, strengthening incentives, better access to services and more ambitious activation. In particular, all support programmes should be designed to maximise the prospects of re-integrating beneficiaries into employment. Social benefit recipients should therefore become regular clients of the unemployment insurance offices, and they should benefit from job search assistance and active labour market policies. Scarce resources should be more targeted to those in greatest need. Addressing the large inflows into the disability system is a priority. Réduire la pauvreté en Estonie par des politiques d'activation plus ambitieuses et un meilleur ciblage des aides La crise a mis à jour la nécessité d’un examen stratégique du système de protection sociale en Estonie. Les fortes fluctuations de revenus combinées au faible niveau des prestations sociales exposent les groupes les plus fragiles de la population à un risque significatif de pauvreté. Le gouvernement a récemment commandité plusieurs études visant à préparer une réforme généralisée du système. Les possibilités de réformes sont larges et incluent un renforcement de la générosité des prestations, un accroissement des gains d’efficacité, un renforcement des incitations, un meilleur accès aux services et une politique d’activation plus ambitieuse. Tous les programmes de soutien devraient être conçus de façon à maximiser les perspectives de retour à l’emploi des bénéficiaires. Il faudrait par conséquent que les allocataires de prestations sociales fréquentent plus régulièrement les services de l’assurance-chômage, et qu’ils bénéficient d’une aide à la recherche d’emploi et de politiques actives du marché du travail. Les ressources rares devraient être ciblées davantage sur ceux qui en ont le plus grand besoin. Il faut en priorité endiguer les entrées en masse dans le régime d’invalidité.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1008.

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Date of creation: 10 Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1008-en

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Keywords: taxation; active labour market policies; flexibility; disability; poverty; healthcare; volatility; Estonia; social policy; well-being; parental benefits; inequality; politiques actives du marché du travail; politiques sociales; régime d’invalidité; prestations sociales; fiscalité; inégalité; bien-être; volatilité; Estonie; flexibilité; chômage; soins de santé;

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