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Social Assistance and EU Poverty Thresholds 1990-2008. Are European Welfare Systems Providing Just and Fair Protection Against Low Income?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2013 (English)In: European Sociological Review, ISSN 0266-7215, E-ISSN 1468-2672, Vol. 29, no 2, 386-401 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been suggested that income adequacy is an important condition for a fair work-test to apply. This article provides new evidence about the construction of just social minimums by analysing the relationship between social assistance, benefit adequacy, and labour market activation. Does social assistance provide benefits at levels necessary to escape poverty? To what extent is the development of benefit adequacy related to active labour market policy? The empirical analyses combine macro-level institutional data from the SaMip data set and micro-level income data for 28 European welfare systems in 1990-2008. It is shown that social assistance seldom reaches commonly applied poverty thresholds. The adequacy of social assistance has also declined, along with the increased emphasis on the activation of beneficiaries. It therefore appears difficult to perceive European social assistance programmes as just distributive instruments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 29, no 2, 386-401 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90380DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcr080ISI: 000317428300018OAI: diva2:626916


Available from: 2013-06-10 Created: 2013-06-03 Last updated: 2013-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Nelson, Kenneth
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