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Reconciling Work and Poverty ReductionHow Successful Are European Welfare States?$
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Bea Cantillon and Frank Vandenbroucke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926589

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926589.001.0001

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Social Redistribution, Poverty, and the Adequacy of Social Protection

Social Redistribution, Poverty, and the Adequacy of Social Protection

(p.157) 5 Social Redistribution, Poverty, and the Adequacy of Social Protection
Reconciling Work and Poverty Reduction

Bea Cantillon

Natascha Van Mechelen

Olivier Pintelon

Aaron Van den Heede

Oxford University Press

Social protection systems traditionally serve a dual purpose: to maintain acquired living standards in the event of social risks and to combat poverty by guaranteeing adequate minimum incomes. More recently, these goals – which are basically instances of damage compensation – have been complemented with a third objective, namely to foster ‘active inclusion’ as a means of preventing or rectifying damage. Starting from the hypothesis that the tensions between these objectives of social protection may have increased the chapter considers changes in poverty reduction by social transfers according to household work-intensity. In order to identify the role of policies it considers trends in spending levels and benefit generosity. It then reflects on the potentials and constraints to achieve more adequate minimum income protection. The most important conclusion to be drawn is the striking – and in many countries rising – inadequacy of social protection for individuals living in households with a low work-intensity.

Keywords:   social security, social protection, minimum income, household work intensity, poverty reduction, prevention, active inclusion, redistribution

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