A special issue of a journal examined the ethics of reform of welfare policy across European countries since the economic crisis, the policy discourse associated with austerity policy, and the impacts of the reforms on patterns of power, inequality, and injustice in different European nations.
Source: Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Volume 22 Issue 2
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Adam Whitworth and Elle Carter, 'Welfare-to-work reform, power and inequality: from governance to governmentalities'
Daniel Edmiston, 'The age of austerity: contesting the ethical basis and financial sustainability of welfare reform in Europe'
Dan Heap, 'The rights and responsibilities of working-age sick and disabled benefit claimants in austerity Europe'
Lee Gregory, 'Resilience or resistance? Time banking in the age of austerity'
An article examined the European Union social policy target to reduce poverty and social exclusion by 20 million. An analysis of ideas, politics, and governance indicated key weaknesses, and the article said that the target was ungovernable because it melded different approaches to poverty and social exclusion, and because of the leeway to member states to adopt an approach of their own choice. The target was also said to be ungoverned, because of low political priority and uncertainty around its legal status, as well as ambiguity over how it fitted into the Europe 2020 governance process.
Source: Paul Copeland and Mary Daly, 'Poverty and social policy in Europe 2020: ungovernable and ungoverned', Policy & Politics, Volume 42 Number 3
An article examined multi-dimensional poverty in Europe, applying the adjusted head count ratio. It argued that this approach had significant advantages and allowed for the decomposition of multi-dimensional poverty in terms of dimensions of deprivation and socio-economic attributes.
Source: Christopher Whelan, Brian Nolan, and Bertrand Maitre, 'Multidimensional poverty measurement in Europe: an application of the adjusted headcount approach', Journal of European Social Policy, Volume 24 Number 2
An article examined micro data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, to consider which types of social transfers were effective in reducing child poverty. It said that, although transfers made a substantial contribution, this varied between countries, with no obvious single successful model.
Source: Jonathan Bradshaw and Meg Huby, 'Decomposing child poverty reduction', European Journal of Social Security, Volume 2014 Number 1
An article said that there was a 'near linear' relationship between the current poverty rate and the persistent poverty rate indicators across European Union countries. It explained how this relationship arose, and how a model could be used to predict persistent poverty rates from current poverty information. It discussed whether the EU's persistent poverty measure and the design of EU-SILC longitudinal data collection required modification.
Source: Stephen Jenkins and Philippe Van Kerm, 'The relationship between EU indicators of persistent and current poverty', Social Indicators Research, Volume 116 Number 2
See also: Stephen Jenkins and Philippe Van Kerm, The Relationship between EU Indicators of Persistent and Current Poverty, Discussion Paper 7071, Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn)
An article examined the support for, and determinants of, individualistic explanations of poverty among Europeans. The level of support for the individualistic explanation of poverty varied between European nations. Welfare regime type was associated with individualistic explanations, along with short-term economic growth and social expenditures as well as individual-level demographic factors, perceived economic hardship, political affiliation, and egalitarian values.
Source: Johanna Kallio and Mikko Niemela, 'Who blames the poor? Multilevel evidence of support for and determinants of individualistic explanation of poverty in Europe', European Societies, Volume 16 Issue 1
An article examined the intertemporal distribution of income in 26 European Union countries prior to the onset of the global economic recession, using EU-SILC data for 2003-2007. New member states had typically seen individual incomes grow faster than other countries. Income gains had been disproportionately pro-poor in all countries. There had therefore been a regression to the mean both among EU countries and among individuals within countries. However, short-run income mobility had not significantly reduced inequality of time-averaged incomes.
Source: Philippe Van Kerm and Maria Noel Pi Alperin, 'Inequality, growth and mobility: the intertemporal distribution of income in European countries 2003-2007', Economic Modelling, Volume 35
An article examined the relationship between material deprivation and economic stress in European countries. Basic deprivation – an inability to enjoy customary standards of living – was critical in influencing economic stress levels. National income levels and inequality had no direct influence on economic stress. However, the impact of basic deprivation was stronger in countries with higher levels of income, indicating the crucial role of national reference groups. Contrary to the expectation that experiencing basic deprivation in a national context of high income inequality was likely to be particularly stressful, the consequences of such deprivation were most negative in low-inequality countries (that is, those where it was clearer that such deprivation was avoidable).
Source: Christopher Whelan and Bertrand Maitre, 'Material deprivation, economic stress, and reference groups in Europe: An analysis of EU-SILC 2009', European Sociological Review, Volume 29 Number 6