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Recasting Safety Nets: Reforming Social Assistance in Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom

  • Cathal O'Donoghue

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Martin Evans

This paper investigates the simulation of common policy reforms across different countries. Changes to the equivalence scales of social assistance systems in favour of pensions and children in Germany, Ireland and the UK were modelled. Unlike a number of previous studies of this kind such as Atkinson et al. (1988), reforms were modelled in the policy and societal context in which the reforms are set. To do this, three national tax-benefit microsimulation models were used. The analysis highlighted both the different structure of the policy instruments used across the countries, but also the importance of the national environments in which the policy is set. This paper highlights the difficulties associated with carrying out comparative research of this nature using national models which were not designed specifically for this purpose.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP098.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp098
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  1. Merz, Joachim, 1991. "Microsimulation -- A survey of principles, developments and applications," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 77-104, May.
  2. Callan, Tim & O'Donoghue, Cathal & O'Neill, CiarĂ¡n, 1994. "Analysis of Basic Income Schemes for Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS21.
  3. Callan T & O'donoghue C & Sutherland H, 1999. "Comparative Analysis of Basic Income Proposals: UK and Ireland," Microsimulation Unit Research Notes MU/RN/31, Microsimulation Unit at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  4. Atkinson, A. B. & Bouguignon, F. & Chiappori, P. A., 1988. "What do we learn about tax reform from international comparisons? France and Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(2-3), pages 343-352, March.
  5. Callan, Tim & Sutherland, Holly, 1997. "The impact of comparable policies in European countries: Microsimulation approaches," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 627-633, April.
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