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Outcomes of social assistance in Central and Eastern Europe: a pre-transfer post-transfer comparison

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  • Avram, Silvia

Abstract

The poverty reduction potential of national social assistance programs in eight Central and Eastern European countries is examined using data from the EU-SILC. Results indicate that social assistance programs are a marginal component of the social protection system throughout the region. They serve small populations, spend relatively little compared to needs and the benefits they award are largely a top-up for their clients. However, the more extensive and liberal programs achieve higher effectiveness in reducing poverty. Unlike Western Europe, no trade-off between extensiveness and benefit generosity or between generosity and efficiency could be found. Decentralization and discretion are associated with inefficiency and arbitrariness in entitlement decisions rather than improved targeting.

Suggested Citation

  • Avram, Silvia, 2013. "Outcomes of social assistance in Central and Eastern Europe: a pre-transfer post-transfer comparison," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-18, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2013-18
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2013-18.pdf
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    1. Willem Adema & Donald Gray & Sigrun Kahl, 2003. "Social Assistance in Germany," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 58, OECD Publishing.
    2. Natascha Van Mechelen & Sarah Marchal & Tim Goedemé & Ive Marx & Bea Cantillon, 2011. "The CSB-Minimum Income Protection Indicators dataset (CSB-MIPI)," Working Papers 1105, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tasseva, Iva Valentinova, 2016. "Evaluating the performance of means-tested benefits in Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 919-935.
    2. Koutsampelas, Christos, 2014. "The introduction of a GMI scheme in Cyprus: family structure, equivalence scales and policy challenges," EUROMOD Working Papers EM10/14, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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