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The Active Welfare State Revisited

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  • Frank Vandenbroucke

Abstract

This paper revisits social policy developments in Belgium in the decade 2000-2010 on the basis of stylized facts with regard to spending, employment, the social policy caseload, dependency rates and poverty. With regard to spending it focuses on the long-term evolution in Belgian public social spending and the extent to which the observed spending pattern accommodated the perceived emergence of new social risks. By means of ‘budgetary effort indicators’, the analysis disentangles the impact of demographic evolutions from deliberate shifts in broad policy priorities. In addition, the paper addresses some critical points in the performance of the Belgian welfare state, such as the rising number of children at risk of poverty, the need to anticipate long-term demographic ageing, and (briefly) the need for structural changes in parts of the health care system. I conclude that preparing the next wave of social reform is imperative for this country.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Vandenbroucke, 2012. "The Active Welfare State Revisited," Working Papers 1209, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:1209
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    File URL: http://www.centrumvoorsociaalbeleid.be/sites/default/files/CSB%20Working%20Paper%2012%2009_Oktober%202012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Leen Meeusen & Annemie Nys, 2012. "Are new social risk expenditures crowding out the old?," Working Papers 1208, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    2. Marjan, MAES, 2008. "Financial and redistributive impact of reforming the old-age pension system in Belgium," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008040, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    3. Jones, Erik, 2008. "Economic Adjustment and Political Transformation in Small States," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199208333.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. André Decoster & Sergio Perelman & Dieter Vandelannoote & Toon Vanheukelom & Gerlinde Verbist, 2015. "A bird’s eye view on 20 years of tax-benefit reforms in Belgium," Working Papers Department of Economics 494657, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    2. Tim Rie & Ive Marx, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Belgium," GINI Country Reports belgium, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    active welfare state; social policy; poverty; employment; social spending; ageing;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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