This article examines patterns of social expenditure change in 21 OECD countries in the period 1990-2001 and seeks to uncover their determinants. Key trends identified include an overall stability of spending patterns, a marginal shift from transfers to inkind service provision and emergent signs of increased control of age-related spending. Important conclusions derived from a multivariate analysis include the major impact of economic growth, a marked programme maturation effect in fields other than age-related spending and confirmation of the central relevance of policy reform initiatives in the age-spending arena. Although in this period, unlike earlier ones, there is no sign that party ideology influences expenditure patterns, the findings concerning reform initiatives underscore the continuing impact of policy choices on policy outcomes.
Current socioeconomic transformations that have brought into existence postindustrial labour market and family structures are generating new social needs and demands, labelled new social risks (NSRs). These include reconciling work and family life, lone parenthood, long-term unemployment, being among the working poor, or having insufficient social security coverage. These new risks tend to be concentrated among women, the young and the low skilled. This article shows that these groups have little mobilising capacity and that if policies covering their needs are to be adopted, this is likely to happen as a result of alliances and political exchange with other political actors pursuing different policy objectives.
Growth which benefits everyone and to which everyone contributes has major implications for pure passive, redistributive policies which do not really result in “contribution to growth” (unless very indirectly, by spending). ALMPs (understood broadly, to encompass also in work benefits) and how they promote the notion of inclusive growth now requires a rethink of the interface between employment and benefits in a way that encourages and rewards participation in productive processes by all those who can. Inclusive growth social policies pose a range of issues and challenges for ALMPs that are discussed and examined in detail in this chapter.
This chapter examines the different types of ALMPs that have been in use in Europe since the 1950s from the point of view of the social investment perspective. It argues that ALMPs is too broad a category to be used without further specification, and develops a typology of four different types of ALMPs: incentive reinforcement, employment assistance, occupation and human capital investment. These are discussed and examined through ALMP expenditure profiles and policy trajectories in selected countries. The chapter shows that the orientation of ALMP changes over time, and follows the overall economic and labour market context. It identifies three periods: the 1950s and 1960s, when labour shortage prompted countries to develop ALMP systems geared toward retraining jobless people; from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, when ALMP tended to become alternatives to market employment; and the mid-1990s to the late 2000s, when the main orientation of policy was activation, i.e. a mix of negative and positive incentives for jobless people to enter mostly low-skill employment in the service sector. The chapter concludes that social-investment-oriented programmes have a stronger representation in the earliest phase, while the later phase is more ambivalent in relation to this perspective.
This chapter examines the capacity of welfare reforms to deliver their objectives, focusing on increasing responsiveness to individual needs and strengthening central control. Based on a comparison of experiences in Germany, Denmark and Switzerland it shows that none of the countries gained clear-cut achievements on the goals. It concludes by discussing the extent to which efforts to promote more responsiveness and more control have been successful in the three countries.
This chapter reviews the reforms that were adopted in eight western European countries. It argues that the measures that were adopted depend on the institutional structure of the pension system that was inherited by the countries from the post- and pre-war years. The chapter begins with an overview of the changes to the labour market that have occurred since the end of the trente glorieuses, which was a period of thirty years marked by fast economic growth, rising wages, etc. It is followed by a discussion of how different pension systems deal with the new forms of employment. The chapter ends with a section on the key measures that the eight countries have adopted to deal with certain issues.