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The last safety netA handbook of minimum income protection in Europe$
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Thomas Bahle

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427250

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427250.001.0001

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Comparative analyses

Comparative analyses

(p.155) Four Comparative analyses
The last safety net

Thomas Bahle

Vanessa Hubl

Michaela Pfeifer

Policy Press

This chapter analyses the minimum income protection (MIP) systems in seventeen European countries from a comparative perspective. The first section examines the MIP benefit levels for adults of working age and their families. This section analyses how the generosity of needs-based social citizenship rights moves away from average incomes and other social benefits. From a comparative perspective, the second section discuses the aggregate MIP recipients across countries for three population groups: the total population, adults at working age and persons at pension age. Analysis of these populations highlights the salience of MIP within the overall welfare state and society. Third section of this chapter discusses the expenditure of MIP which is linked to the number of beneficiaries than to generosity. Even with international differences, MIP spending has the tendency to be modest in terms of the share of national GDP or share of total social spending. The fourth section discusses from a comparative perspective the institutional differentiation of national MIP systems in several categorical schemes. Categorical differentiation within the MIP systems illustrates an important dimension of the institutionalisation of basic social citizenship rights. The fourth and last section offers a summary of the patterns of variation. These chapters show how individual countries can be grouped into different families of nations on the basis of the previously analysed dimensions of MIP.

Keywords:   minimum income protection, European countries, MIP benefit levels, social citizenship rights, aggregate MIP recipients, expenditure, national MIP systems

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