Social welfare policies

121 - 150 of 211
26 September 2006

Globalisation has become a catch-all term imbuing public discussions with a sense of urgency about something that often cannot even be properly identified. This literature review presents an outline of arguments about what globalisation actually can mean, how to measure it and how to face it.

14 September 2006

This background paper begins with a discussion of the overall goal of promoting healthy and active ageing, followed by three sections that compare developments in the EU and US in the following key areas: 1) Enhancing independence by receiving care at home and in the community as much as possible; 2) Identifying sources of quality LTC services, including supporting family caregivers, promoting consumer-directed approaches to services, and developing the capacity of the LTC workforce; and 3) Ensuring sustainable financing of LTC systems.

13 September 2006

The Lisbon strategy of 2000 sets the ambitious goal (among others) of achieving an employment rate of 70% overall, 60% for women and 50% for older workers within the EU-15 by 2010. Five years later, labour market participation has increased somewhat (overall from 62.5% in 1999 to 64.3% in 2003), but remains disappointingly low in the EU-15 (and even lower for the EU-25).

23 August 2006

Many studies document that women with children tend to earn lower wages than women without children (a shortfall known as the ‘child penalty’ or ‘family gap’). Despite the existence of several hypotheses about the causes of the child penalty, much about the gap in wages remains unexplained. This study explores the premise that mothers might substitute income for advantageous, non-pecuniary job characteristics.

24 July 2006

The 10 new member states that joined the European Union in May 2004 have increased the population of the EU-15 by 20% and together account for almost 16.4% of the total EU-25 population. The current ageing of the population in the EU-15 has highlighted other challenges besides the well-known problems of financing pension and health care systems. It has also highlighted the risks of a rise in the dependent elderly population and the need to adjust social welfare systems accordingly.

18 May 2006

This paper analyses the health expenditure profile by age and gender of survivors and deceased in four Italian regions. Per capita spending on the deceased constantly diminishes after middle age. The ratio between per capita expenditures on deceased and survivors by age shows a downward trend after about 40 years. Although we chose four regions situated in the North, Centre and South of Italy, we may conclude that there are no significant differences among them with respect to health costs near death, in spite of the wide regional gap and the different Regional Health Service models.

01 February 2006

More than half way into the decade, it is clear that the EU will fall short of reaching its ambitious goal to make the EU the ‘most competitive economy’ by 2010. This contribution looks at an aspect that is often forgotten: namely the link between skills and employment, a central element in the Lisbon goal. It shows that the key problem of Europe in terms of employment is not so much the structure of its labour markets, but the insufficient skill levels of its population.

01 February 2006

In the economic policy debate it is often stated that population ageing will lead to huge increases in the age-related components of public expenditure – primarily pensions and health care. This paper analyses a factor that may, at least partly, alleviate the fear that increased life expectancy will accelerate the rise in health-care spending: namely the fact that independent of decedent age, the bulk of per capita health-care costs are concentrated in the last years of life (the so-called ‘mortality-related’ costs).

01 August 2005

This paper studies the determinants of the retirement transitions of Europeans and focuses on the impact of social security systems on retirement behaviour. The analysis uses the first eight waves (1994-2001) of the European Community Household Panel. Based on these survey data, option values – which express, for each retirement age, the trade-off between retiring now and keeping the option open for some later retirement date – are constructed for each sampled individual in three countries: Finland, Belgium and Germany.

01 August 2005

Is health good for the economy of the European Union? This study reviews an extensive body of research and policy documents from high-income countries encompassing cost-of-illness studies; the impact of health at the individual and household level on labour market outcomes, education and saving; the impact of health on the level and the growth rate of national income; and the welfare impact of health. Based on the available evidence, the introductory question can be answered with a resounding ‘yes’: health is good for the economy in the European Union.

01 July 2005

This paper explores the consequences of pension reforms in Western Europe in a world economy setting. Whereas various economic and social consequences of population ageing have been investigated in OECD countries, very few analyses have explicitly taken the worldwide aspect of the problem into account. In order to do so, this report relies on the latest version of the INGENUE World Model (2).

01 July 2005

A question increasingly raised in recent years is whether the trend towards longer life expectancy has been accompanied by comparable increases in the expectancy of life in good health (active or disability-free life expectancy). Formulating an answer to this question is of essential importance for projecting health expenditure and for forecasting retirement patterns over the coming decades. The AGIR research project aimed essentially at exploring all available information to illustrate whether people are not only living longer but also ageing in better health.

01 July 2005

This study aims at highlighting the importance of social integration for the wellbeing of dependent elderly persons living at home. This question is important because, as we can observe, social activities are not a priority for social policies regarding the dependent elderly in Europe. Here it is shown that social activities and contacts improve the wellbeing of the dependent elderly.

01 July 2005

This paper uses the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) to analyse the relationship between the dynamics of labour force participation and informal care to the elderly for a sample of women aged 20-59 across 13 European countries. The analysis has two focal points: the relative contributions of state dependence as well as observed and unobserved heterogeneity in explaining the dynamics in women’s labour force participation and the existence and consequences of non-random attrition from the ECHP.

01 April 2005

This paper studies the effect of individual and spousal characteristics on the labour force participation of individuals living in elderly two-adult households. The comparative approach taken here studies men and women separately and uses the first eight waves (1994-2001) of the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). We compare results of three countries: Finland (a country with a high degree of women’s labour force participation), Belgium and Germany (countries where women’s labour force participation is relatively low).

01 March 2005

This paper documents the financial consequences of widowhood using both cross-section and panel data from the European Community Household Panel. The research reveals that there are large differences across countries. For example, widowed persons in Greece and Portugal have the lowest income – less than a half that of those widowed in Austria. Cross-country differences decrease somewhat if we consider household income net of housing costs, owing to the higher share of home ownership in low-income countries.

01 February 2005

This study deals with the impact of ageing populations and changes in their health status on health care and the utilisation of long-term care services. Two kinds of projection methods have been used to estimate increases up to 2050 in the number of hospital cases and days, contacts with doctors, long-term care recipients and severely hampered persons for Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.

01 September 2004

Over the last two decades, EU institutions have been increasingly concerned with the issues of unemployment reduction and job creation. The EU has recommended that member states develop welfare systems that moderate the negative effects of market relationships on the one hand, and enhance the efficiency of market performance on the other.

01 July 2004

During the coming decades the European Union and, indeed, large parts of the world, will be confronted with unprecedented demographic changes, generally characterised as ‘ageing of the population’. In reality, ageing is the combined outcome of two distinct phenomena: firstly the secular decline in mortality and the resulting increase in life expectancy and secondly the pronounced decline in fertility since 1970 in most European countries and which followed the baby boom in the first post-war decade.