Chapter 3: Welfare for the Unemployed in Britain and Germany
The overall aim of the book is to compare welfare provision and outcomes for the unemployed in Britain and Germany. The purpose of this chapter is to uncover the institutional frameworks with which to interpret the empirical comparison of outcomes conducted in later chapters. This chapter also aims to ﬂesh out the bare bones provided by the typologies of welfare we reviewed in Chapter 1, drawing on these typologies in explaining both historical developments and current provision of welfare. This chapter traces the development of welfare for the unemployed from the beginning of the 20th century until the present day, in the form of cash transfers and measures to assist the unemployed back into the labour market. The material has been chosen with later chapters in mind, and the emphasis is on the main period covered by analysis in this book: 1991–96 for Britain, and 1984–96 for Germany. We do, however, also include a brief historical account, arguing that past policy choices had a considerable impact on subsequent and current structures of provision. After comparing the origin and evolution of beneﬁts for the unemployed in Britain and Germany, we present an overview of the principles of unemployment compensation. We then focus on the 1980s, a period characterised by changes in the welfare systems – particularly in Britain – that have had a big impact on current provision. The next section presents an overview of beneﬁt provision in 1996, comparing in detail the balance of means-tested and insurance bene...
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