The "Inequality in Europe" series on Social Europe examines the different dimensions of inequality in Europe and what kind of policy mix could help addressing them. Anita Tiefensee (WSI) gives an overview on the current distribution of wealth. The most important source is owner-occupied housing. Another source are wealth transfers - inheritances and gifts, i.e. wealth accumulated without effort. But taxes on gifts and inheritances have tended to decrease in the euro area - a highly problematic development.
In a recently published contribution to an edited volume, WSI researcher Florian Blank discusses developments in pension policies in Germany. In his article he pays special attention to tendencies of privatization that took place in the German pension system since the 2001 reforms. Furthermore, he addresses the question of how to justify public pension provision.
The German minimum income system is characterised through vertical coordination and hierarchical modes of governance. However, the local welfare system plays a decisive role in anti-poverty and active inclusion policies. Dorothee Spannagel (WSI) investigates the case of Dortmund – a major city in the Ruhr area with a strong industrial heritage. Her study proves the importance of informal cooperation and dense networks that are based on trust and reciprocity.
Following the European Commission, the Europe 2020 strategy shall raise the employment rate of the 20–64 year-olds to 75 percent and reduce the number of people living in or at risk-of-poverty or social exclusion by 20 million people. Dr. Eric Seils (WSI) argues that Europe needs not simply more employment but jobs that earn a living.
Blank, Florian, and Schulze Buschoff, Karin (eds.), 2011: European Labour Market Policies after the Lisbon Process – Results and Consequences. German Policy Studies, Special Issue 7(1). more... (pdf)
Academic partners in 8 European countries (including Dr. Florian Blank, WSI) investigated “voluntary occupational welfare” (VOW) or “contract welfare”, i.e. the provision of supplementary welfare benefits through collective bargaining and (or) unilateral bargaining by employers. The outcomes of the EU-financed project coordinated by ETUC and OSE were presented during the Final Conference held on 05.12.2013 in Brussels.