Supporting unemployed people: income protection and activation

Jochen Clasen

in Reforming European Welfare States

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780199270712
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603266 | DOI:
 Supporting unemployed people: income protection and activation

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The chapter discusses three periods of policy change in the field of social protection for unemployed people. It explains basic parameters of unemployment protection systems, contrasting contemporary systems with those which existed in the late 1970s. Making use of several indicators, it assess the scale and profile of change in each country. The different reform profiles are identified and their genesis discussed in the context of major legislative changes. It argues that the specific links between unemployment protection systems and respective national political economy structures have impacted strongly on the emerging reform profiles. Dynamic power relations within and across government parties, as well as contextual changes impeded or facilitated policies, thus explaining cross-national variations in the pace and profile of reform.

Keywords: unemployment insurance; unemployment assistance; unemployment benefit; activation; political economy structures; social wage; trade unions; social partners; means testing; labour market policy

Chapter.  16519 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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