The Politics of In-Work Benefits: The Case of the ‘Active Income of Solidarity’ in France

French Politics, June 2013

41 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2013 Last revised: 17 Apr 2016

Date Written: June 5, 2013

Abstract

In-work benefits have been introduced in a number of Bismarckian welfare regimes in a context of austerity despite being targeted at politically weak constituents and representing a deviation from prevailing welfare institutions. This article addresses this puzzle by looking at the introduction in 2008 of an in-work benefit scheme in France, the Active Income of Solidarity. The analysis reveals that this reform was the result of a cross-cutting alliance between the conservative party and employers, as well as parts of the socialist party and the union movement. The alliance was possible thanks to actors’ multiple interpretations of the reform. The reform was difficult to oppose given its support by experts and public opinion and because it entailed an increase in revenues for low-income workers.

Keywords: In-work benefits, France, labour market reform, Bismarckian welfare regimes, unions

JEL Classification: P16, I3, H53

Suggested Citation

Vlandas, Tim, The Politics of In-Work Benefits: The Case of the ‘Active Income of Solidarity’ in France (June 5, 2013). French Politics, June 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2275310

Tim Vlandas (Contact Author)

University of Reading ( email )

Humanities and Social Sciences Building
Whiteknight campus
Reading, RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

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