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Title:Do Europe's minimum income schemes provide adequate shelter against the economic crisis and how, if at all, have governments responded? PDF Logo
Authors:Marchal, Sarah
Marx, Ive
Van Mechelen, Natascha
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6264
Abstract:The present economic crisis comes against the background of decades of policy changes that have generally weakened the capacity of social safety nets to offer citizens with adequate resources for financial survival when labour markets fail to do so. Building on data for 24 European Union countries, this paper asks whether EU governments implemented additional measures during the first phase of the crisis to improve safety nets. Our data, drawn from a large network of national experts, show that many countries introduced supportive measures, in particular in the form of additional increases in gross minimum income benefits. More generous child benefits have also helped to increase net disposable incomes of families on minimum income. Behavioral requirements imposed on minimum income recipients have been neither tightened nor relaxed. In a limited number of countries, activation efforts aimed at minimum income recipients have been intensified. Despite some improvements, social safety nets in Europe remain far below widely accepted poverty thresholds, including the EU's own official measure.
Subjects:minimum incomes
poverty
crisis measures
social policy
Europe
JEL:I38
H75
H12
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-201203016463
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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