IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Protection Systems In The Baltic States


  • Tiiu Paas
  • Marit Hinnosaar
  • Jaan Masso
  • Orsolya Szirko


The paper analyses the social protection systems of the Baltic States comparing them to the existing systems of the other European countries and discussing poverty reduction strategies, pension systems, social and unemployment assistance, labour market policies and regulations. The aim is to investigate whether there are relevant differences between the Baltic States and the EU that might inhibit the integration of the former to the European Union. The rapid transformation processes have created acute social problems such as structural unemployment, poverty, social exclusion and growing inequality, challenging people’s absorptive capacity and endangering social cohesion. We show that by now the Baltic States have worked out their poverty reduction strategies, 3-pillar pension systems, unemployment insurance systems, including both the insurance component and poverty reduction as a target, and labour market institutions necessary for a market economy. The paper concludes that although the expenditure on social protection is smaller in the Baltic States than in the EU and the initially selected labour-market-based approach has been complemented with elements of a liberal system, in the future the system may have a tendency towards converging to the European social model. More attention should be paid to implementing active measures of social protection that support social cohesion.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiiu Paas & Marit Hinnosaar & Jaan Masso & Orsolya Szirko, 2004. "Social Protection Systems In The Baltic States," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 26, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
  • Handle: RePEc:mtk:febawb:26

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hibbs, Douglas Jr. & Locking, Hakan, 1996. "Wage compression, wage drift and wage inflation in Sweden," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 109-141, September.
    2. Holmlund, Bertil, 1998. " Unemployment Insurance in Theory and Practice," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 113-141, March.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
    4. Fredriksson, Peter, 1997. " Economic Incentives and the Demand for Higher Education," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 129-142, March.
    5. Tiiu Paas & Raul Eamets & Jaan Masso & Marit Room, 2003. "Labour Market Flexibility And Migration In The Baltic States: Macro Evidences," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 16, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    6. Brown, Charles, 1999. "Minimum wages, employment, and the distribution of income," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 32, pages 2101-2163 Elsevier.
    7. Ringa Raudla & Karsten Staehr, 2003. "Pension Reforms and Taxation in Estonia," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 4(1), pages 64-92, December.
    8. Roman Arjona & Maxime Ladaique & Mark Pearson, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Social Protection," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 51, OECD Publishing.
    9. Bassanini, Andrea & Brunello, Giorgio, 2003. "Is Training More Frequent When Wage Compression is Higher? Evidence from the European Community Household Panel," IZA Discussion Papers 839, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. repec:iza:izadps:dp is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Samuel Bentolila & Giuseppe Bertola, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402.
    12. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    13. Tito Boeri & Axel Börsch-Supan & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Would you like to shrink the welfare state? A survey of European citizens," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 7-50, April.
    14. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2001. "Minimum Wages and Training Revisited," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 563-595, July.
    15. Nauro F. Campos & Abrizio Coricelli, 2002. "Growth in Transition: What We Know, What We Don't, and What We Should," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-836, September.
    16. Perotti, Roberto, 1994. "Income distribution and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 827-835, April.
    17. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2004. "Training and the new minimum wage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(494), pages 87-94, March.
    18. Bean, Charles R, 1994. "European Unemployment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 573-619, June.
    19. Cahuc, Pierre & Michel, Philippe, 1996. "Minimum wage unemployment and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1463-1482, August.
    20. Michele Boldrin & Juan J. Dolado & Juan F. Jimeno & Franco Peracchi, 1999. "The future of pensions in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 287-320, October.
    21. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. André Sapir & Marco Buti, 1998. "Economic policy in EMU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8078, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    23. Milanovic, Branko, 2000. "Social transfers and social assistance - an empirical analysis using Latvian household survey data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2328, The World Bank.
    24. Thompson, Lawrence H, 1983. "The Social Security Reform Debate," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 1425-1467, December.
    25. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "International Differences in Male Wage Inequality: Institutions versus Market Forces," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 791-836, August.
    26. A. B. Atkinson, 1999. "The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011719, January.
    27. Eamets, Raul & Masso, Jaan, 2004. "Labour Market Flexibility and Employment Protection Regulation in the Baltic States," IZA Discussion Papers 1147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    28. Lindquist, Matthew J., 2005. "The welfare costs of union wage compression," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 639-658, April.
    29. Agell, Jonas & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1997. "Minimum wages and the incentives for skill formation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-40, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jaan Masso & K. Espenberg & Anu Masso & I. Mierina & Kaia Philips, 2013. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in the Baltic States Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania," GINI Country Reports baltics, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.

    More about this item


    social protection; poverty reduction; pension system; social and unemployment assistance; labour market institutions; the Baltic States;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtk:febawb:26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Reino). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.