A Modern Guide to Rethinking Economics
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A Modern Guide to Rethinking Economics

Edited by Louis-Philippe Rochon and Sergio Rossi

Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been an unprecedented move towards ‘rethinking economics’. This book contributes to this worldwide discussion by providing readers at all levels with thoughtful contributions on a range of economic topics. The book includes chapters on rethinking fiscal and monetary policies, international trade, the role of the state, money, growth, the environment, development policies, energy, healthcare and more. Written by top experts in their respective fields, this book will be useful to students and faculty who want to not only rethink economics, but also to offer an alternative and coherent economic analysis to the orthodoxy.
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Chapter 21: Rethinking antipoverty policy

Steven Pressman


Policymakers have adopted two main antipoverty approaches in the United States. First, they have emphasized developing human capital, enabling workers to earn higher wages. Second, transfer programmes have provided a safety net for low-income citizens. This chapter advocates an alternative approach: using social insurance programmes to reduce poverty without creating negative incentives. It then looks at programmes focusing on three different age groups: (1) child allowances and paid parental leave, (2) unemployment and disability insurance and (3) old-age pensions. It finds these programmes effective in reducing poverty throughout the developed world, especially in Nordic countries with generous social insurance benefits.

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