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Work incentives and other effects of the transition to social assistance in the transition economies: Evidence from Bulgaria


  • Mariana M. Kotzeva

    () (University of National and World Economy, Dept. Statistics and Econometrics, BG-Sofia, Bulgaria)

  • Derek C. Jones

    () (Economic Department, Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Road, Clinton, New York 13323, U.S.A.)


The compensation levels, duration structure and means-tested aspects of the income support system for the unemployed in Bulgaria are considered. The available evidence points to the emergence of long term unemployment as a major problem, to a system of social assistance (SA) which is not overly generous and to growing poverty. Nevertheless, econometric analysis using micro data indicates that disincentives for job search exist for SA recipients. In the context of an acute fiscal crisis, systemic efficiency might be improved by restricting access to some benefits, by some changes in scaling, in moves towards targeted contributions and in improvements in administrative capacity.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariana M. Kotzeva & Derek C. Jones, 1998. "Work incentives and other effects of the transition to social assistance in the transition economies: Evidence from Bulgaria," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1/2), pages 237-261.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:23:y:1998:i:1/2:p:237-261

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    Cited by:

    1. Adriana D. Kugler, 2019. "Impacts of Labor Market Institutions and Demographic Factors on Labor Markets in Latin America," IMF Working Papers 19/155, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    Welfare · poverty · Bulgaria · work incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General


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