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GINI DP 53: The Redistributive Capacity of Services in the EU

  • Verbist, G. (Gerlinde)
  • Matsaganis, M. (Manos)
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    Welfare states provide social benefits in cash and in kind. Cash benefits are income transfers, such as retirement pensions, family and unemployment benefits and social assistance. Benefits in kind are commodities directly transferred to recipients at zero or below-market prices (Barr 2012). In Europe, benefits in kind are usually services, such as health, education, child care and care for the elderly. For example, hospital care in most countries is provided either free of charge or at near-zero prices (at the point of use). User fees are even rarer in the case of primary and secondary education: enrolment is compulsory up to a certain age, while tuition is provided free of charge to all children attending publicly funded schools, irrespective of family income. Moreover, child care is often heavily subsidised; kindergartens are run by the state (most commonly local governments) or government-supervised private organisations, while user fees, where applicable, are usually income-related (in the sense that higher-income families pay higher fees, while lower-income ones pay less or are fully exempted). Elderly care may also be available on similar terms; besides, several countries have developed long-term care insurance schemes, to cater for the future needs of an ageing population. ...

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    Paper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series GINI Discussion Papers with number 53.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:53
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