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Minimum-Income Benefits in OECD Countries: Policy Design, Effectiveness and Challenges

  • Immervoll, Herwig



Almost all OECD countries operate comprehensive minimum-income programmes for working-age individuals, either as last-resort safety nets alongside primary income replacement benefits, or as the principal instrument for delivering social protection. Such safety-net benefits aim primarily at providing an acceptable standard of living for families unable to earn sufficient incomes from other sources. This paper provides an overview of social assistance and other minimum-income programmes in OECD countries, summarises their main features, and highlights a number of current policy challenges.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4627.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: D. J. Besharov and K. A. Couch (eds.), Counting the Poor. New Thinking About European Poverty Measures and Lessons for the United States, 2012, Oxford University Press, 171-209. Also available as OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Paper
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4627
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  6. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
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  8. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  9. Herwig Immervoll & Mark Pearson, 2009. "A Good Time for Making Work Pay? Taking Stock of In-Work Benefits and Related Measures across the OECD," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 81, OECD Publishing.
  10. Lawrence Katz & Bruce Meyer, 1988. "The Impact of the Potential Duration of Unemployment Benefits on the Duration of Unemployment," Working Papers 621, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Boone, J. & van Ours, J.C., 2009. "Why is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?," Discussion Paper 2009-84, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. David Card & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2001. "The Limits to Wage Growth: Measuring the Growth Rate of Wages For Recent Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 8444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2005. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Microsimulation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1810, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Daniela Kalužná, 2009. "Main Features of the Public Employment Service in Poland," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 80, OECD Publishing.
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  17. James Midgley & Kitty Stewart & David Piachaud & Howard Glennerster, 2008. "Welfare reform in the United States: implications for British social policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6192, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Bolvig, Iben & Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael, 2001. "Effekter af aktiveringsindsatsen i Århus Kommune," CLS Working Papers 01-99, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
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  20. Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Do Labour Market Programmes Speed up the Return to Work?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(5), pages 541-568, October.
  21. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
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  23. Hohmeyer, Katrin & Wolff, Joachim, 2007. "A fistful of Euros: Does One-Euro-Job participation lead means-tested benefit recipients into regular jobs and out of unemployment benefit II receipt?," IAB Discussion Paper 200732, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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  26. Virginia Hernanz & Franck Malherbet & Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Take-Up of Welfare Benefits in OECD Countries: A Review of the Evidence," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 17, OECD Publishing.
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