Getting People into Work: What (If Anything) Can Justify Mandatory Activation of Welfare Recipients?

36 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2013

See all articles by Anders Molander

Anders Molander

Oslo and Akershus University - College of Applied Research

Gaute Torsvik

University of Bergen - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: June 30, 2013

Abstract

So-called activation policies aiming at bringing jobless people into work have been a central component of welfare reforms across OECD countries during the last decades. Such policies combine restrictive and enabling programs, but their characteristic feature is that also enabling programs are mandatory, and non-compliers are sanctioned. There are four main arguments that can be used to defend mandatory activation of benefit recipients. We label them efficiency, sustainability, paternalism, and justice. Each argument is analyzed in turn and according to a strict scheme. First we clarify which standards it invokes. Thereafter we evaluate each argument according to its own standards Finally we introduce competing normative concerns that have to be taken into account. In the conclusion we discuss possible constellations of arguments that make up the normative space for activation policies.

Keywords: work-welfare, social transfers, labour productivity, screening

JEL Classification: I380, J240

Suggested Citation

Molander, Anders and Torsvik, Gaute, Getting People into Work: What (If Anything) Can Justify Mandatory Activation of Welfare Recipients? (June 30, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4317. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2291924

Anders Molander

Oslo and Akershus University - College of Applied Research

Oslo, NO-0130
Norway

Gaute Torsvik (Contact Author)

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway
55589225 (Phone)
55589210 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
237
PlumX Metrics