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Minimum income support systems as elements of crisis resilience in Europe: Final Report

Abstract

Mindestsicherungssysteme dienen in den meisten entwickelten Wohlfahrtsstaaten als Sicherheitsnetz letzter Instanz. Dementsprechend spielen sie gerade in wirtschaftlichen Krisenzeiten eine besondere Rolle. Inwieweit Mindestsicherungssysteme in Zeiten der Krise beansprucht werden, hängt auch von der Ausprägung vorgelagerter Sozialschutzsysteme ab. Diese Studie untersucht die Bedeutung von Systemen der Mindestsicherung sowie vorgelagerter Systeme wie Arbeitslosenversicherung, Kurzarbeit und arbeitsrechtlichem Bestandsschutz für die Krisenfestigkeit in Europa. Im Kontext der Finanzkrise von 2008/2009 und der Corona-Krise wird die Fähigkeit sozialpolitischer Maßnahmen untersucht, Armut und Einkommens­verluste einzudämmen und gesellschaftliche Ausgrenzung zu vermeiden. Die Studie setzt dabei auf quantitative und qualitative Methoden, etwa multivariate Analysen, Mikrosimulationsmethoden sowie eingehende Fallstudien der Länder Dänemark, Frankreich, Irland, Polen und Spanien, die für unterschiedliche Typen von Wohlfahrtsstaaten stehen.The aim of this study is to analyse the role of social policies in different European welfare states regarding minimum income protection and active inclusion. The core focus lies on crisis resilience, i.e. the capacity of social policy arrangements to contain poverty and inequality and avoid exclusion before, during and after periods of economic shocks. To achieve this goal, the study expands its analytical focus to include other tiers of social protection, in particular upstream systems such as unemployment insurance, job retention and employment protection, as they play an additional and potentially prominent role in providing income and job protection in situations of crisis. A mixed-method approach is used that combines quantitative and qualitative research, such as descriptive and multivariate quantitative analyses, microsimulation methods and in-depth case studies. The study finds consistent differences in terms of crisis resilience across countries and welfare state types. In general, Nordic and Continental European welfare states with strong upstream systems and minimum income support (MIS) show better outcomes in core socio-economic outcomes such as poverty and exclusion risks. However, labour market integration shows some dualisms in Continental Europe. The study shows that MIS holds particular importance if there are gaps in upstream systems or cases of severe and lasting crises

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Last time updated on 23/02/2023

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