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Disappointing poverty trends : is the social investment state to blame? An exercise in soul-searching for policy-makers

Author

Listed:
  • Frank Vandenbroucke
  • Koen Vleminckx

Abstract

Should we explain the disappointing outcomes of the Open Method of Co-ordination on Inclusion by methodological weaknesses or by substantive contradictions in the “social investment” paradigm? To clarify the underlying concepts, we first revisit the original “Lisbon inspiration”, and subsequently relate it to the idea of the “new welfare state”, as proposed in the literature on new risks in post-industrial societies. We then discuss two explanations for disappointing poverty trends, suggested by critical accounts of the “social investment state”: “resource competition” and a “re-commodification”. We do not find these explanations convincing per se and conclude that the jury is still out on the “social investment state”. However, policy makers cannot ignore the failure of employment policies to reduce the proportion of children and working-age adults living in jobless households in the EU, and they should not deny the reality of a “trilemma of activation”. Finally, we identify policy conditions that may facilitate the complementarity of social investment and social inclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Vandenbroucke & Koen Vleminckx, 2011. "Disappointing poverty trends : is the social investment state to blame? An exercise in soul-searching for policy-makers," Working Papers 1101, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:1101
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    File URL: http://www.centrumvoorsociaalbeleid.be/sites/default/files/CSB%20Working%20Paper%2011%2001_January%202011_2_0.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard & Olaf Van Vliet, 2010. "Patterns of Welfare State Indicators in the EU: Is there Convergence?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 529-556, June.
    2. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
    3. Edward Lorenz & B.-A. Lundvall, 2009. "On the role of social investment in the learning economy: a European Perspective," Post-Print halshs-00726893, HAL.
    4. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
    5. Joris Ghysels & Wim Van Lancker, 2010. "The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children," Working Papers 1008, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Natascha Van Mechelen & Sarah Marchal, 2013. "Trends and convergence of Europe’s minimum income schemes," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/11, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    2. Olivier Pintelon & Bea Cantillon & Karel Van den Bosch & Christopher T. Whelan, 2011. "The Social Stratification of Social Risks," Working Papers 1104, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    3. Vincent Corluy & Frank Vandenbroucke, 2012. "Individual Employment, Household Employment and Risk of Poverty in the EU. A Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 1206, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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