Switzerland: a latecomer catching up?<sup>1</sup>

Cyrielle Champion

in Regulating the Risk of Unemployment

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592296
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731471 | DOI:
Switzerland: a latecomer catching up?1

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The chapter discusses the logic of reforms undertaken in the Swiss social security system for working-age people since the early 1990s when the country experienced a steep rise in unemployment for the first time in the post-war era. It shows that reforms have predominantly focused on parametric cost containment objectives within each of the three key benefit schemes (unemployment insurance, social assistance, and disability insurance), leaving little room for initiatives towards a more integrative unemployment protection approach. Indeed, the progressive extension of activation has not been followed by a greater benefit homogenization or a closer coordination of services. It is argued that one of the reasons for this particular movement is to be seen in the fragmentation of power and responsibilities induced by federalism.

Keywords: Switzerland; unemployment; social security system; fragmentation; federalism

Chapter.  9924 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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