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Putting the social investment state to the test. Assessing the impact of Dutch and Belgian policy adjustments on poverty and social inequality.

Putting the social investment state to the test. Assessing the impact of Dutch and Belgian policyadjustments on poverty and social inequality.Facing permanent austerity, several European welfare states 'reinvented' themselves as 'social investment states' (Giddens, 1998): shifting in focus from providing 'passive' income protection towards increasing labour market participation and investing in people's skills. This proposal focuses on the relationship between the social investment state and poverty/social inequality. Although several policy documents assume a natural symbiosis between labour market participation and poverty reduction, a few studies suggest that this relationship is far more ambiguous. To answer this question, the effects of Dutch and Belgian social policies are investigated. The Netherlands and Belgium are 'most similar cases': both countries are very similar (small open transit economies), except for their broad policy reorientations. In the Netherlands there was an increased focus on active labour market policies, while Belgian policy adjustments were small and incremental. This project is divided into three distinct phases. First of all, the evolution of poverty and income inequality will be described for a long period of time. Secondly, policy and resource indicators will be used and collected in order to provide an overview of major social policy adjustments. Finally, these indicators will be used to estimate the redistributive effects of social policy, with special focus for so-called 'risk households'.
Date:1 Oct 2010  →  30 Sep 2012
Disciplines:Other economics and business, Applied sociology, Policy and administration, Social psychology, Social stratification, Social theory and sociological methods, Sociology of life course, family and health, Other sociology and anthropology, Citizenship, immigration and political inequality, International and compartive politics, Multilevel governance, National politics, Political behaviour, Political organisations and institutions, Political theory and methodology, Public administration, Other political science