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Reforming the Dutch Welfare State: A Scenario Approach

van der Hoek, M. Peter (1999): Reforming the Dutch Welfare State: A Scenario Approach. Published in: International Advances in Economic Research , Vol. 5, No. 4 (1999): pp. 403-417.

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Abstract

The Dutch social protection system has been under reconstruction from the early 1980s. After describing the structure of the current system and addressing recent developments as to the treatment of families and individuals, the paper presents three scenarios that could develop in future years. The first is that of full individualization, in which benefits and conditions are attuned to individual citizens without considering their care for others and the financial means of others in their household. The second scenario is that of a "mini-system", in which statutory benefits are restricted to some minimum level. The third scenario is that of further differentiation of the social minimum by household size, in which benefits are better attuned to the composition and size of household types. These three scenarios are evaluated on the basis of four criteria. The differentiation scenario appears to meet nearly all criteria and seems to offer a new solution for the problem of the weak income position of households with children relative to other household types on the minimum income level.

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