Research Reports

In this section you find an overview of the research reports  written by members of the Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy starting from 2009. 

 

Bogaerts K., Echelpoels, H., Van Dooren, W., Marx I. & Froy, F. (2011), Building flexibility and accountability into local employment services: country report for Belgium, Paris: OECD, 67 p.

 

Human resources and skills are becoming increasingly important to economic development. In the context of the economic downturn, challenges such as high youth unemployment call for a collaborative and tailored approach. But do local labour market offices have sufficient flexibility in the implementation of their policies and programmes to contribute effectively to local strategies? If they are to be given more flexibility, how can this be reconciled with the need for accountability and the achievement of national policy goals? This report is the country report for Belgium as part of an OECD project which has delved into these questions and examined in-depth the management of labour market policy in Canada, Belgium (Flanders), Denmark and the Netherlands. It explores how policy makers have been able to inject greater flexibility into the management of employment policy at the local level, how full accountability to meet national policy goals has been built in, and labour market policy shifts as a result of the economic downturn. The Belgian report explores the level of local accountability and flexibility within labour market policy in Flanders, focusing in particular on the Flemish Public Employment Service (VDAB), municipalities and the regional tripartite consultation platforms SERRs and RESOCs.

Language: ENGLISH
Contact: Kristel.Bogaerts@ua.ac.be

 

 

Goedemé, T. (2011), The Purchasing Power of the Elderly in Six EU Member States. Report prepared for the project ‘Home Sweet Home’, Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, 20p.

 

In this report we present some basic information on the level and distribution of the elderly persons’ incomes in Belgium, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. The elderly are defined as all persons aged 65 and over. The report discusses cross-national demographic differences as well as differences in tenure status and housing costs. It is shown that both types of information are crucial to correctly interpret cross-national differences in income levels. EU-SILC data for 2007/2008 suggest that the purchasing power of the elderly is highest in Germany, followed by the UK and Ireland. The average purchasing power is lowest in Spain and somewhat higher in Belgium. Although cross-national differences in purchasing power are non-negligible, differences in purchasing power within countries are much larger and may be a much more important factor to consider when determining the price of new tools for elderly care.

Language: English
Contact: Tim.Goedemé@ua.ac.be

 

 

De Vil, G. & Van Mechelen, N. (2010+2011), Social welfare and alternatives for the Socio-Professional Integration-exemption (SPI), Report for the King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels: King Baudouin Foundation, 35p.

 

To make the transition from social welfare to (part time) work financially attractive, current Belgian regulations foresee that when an entitlement to social welfare is calculated, an exemption is made for income from work or professional education. This system is called the Socio-Professional Integration-exemption (SPI). Among others due to its lump-sum character, the SPI system faces a few challenges. The report analyses inactivity traps for recipients of minimum income protection. It calculates the difference in net income in the case of unemployment, part-time work and full-time work for a couple of household types. Additionally, it simulates for the same household types net income on the basis of alternative systems of SPI – exemption. The French, Dutch and German exemptions of labour income for minimum income beneficiaries serve as the basis of the calculations. We examine the impact these alternatives systems would have on the income of minimum income beneficiaries in Belgium in case they would replace the Belgian SPI-system.

Language: English
Contact: Natascha.vanmechelen@ua.ac.be

 

 

Bogaerts, K., Marx, I., Vandelannoote, D. & Van Mechelen, N. (2010), Activation in case of unemployment and social welfare, Research commissioned by the Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue, Antwerp: Hermand Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, 100p.

 

Since the end of the 1990s, European impulses for active labour market policy have led to a number of policy changes that altered the way the unemployed and inactive population have been activated and guided towards employment in Belgium. The instruments to activate and guide the unemployed evolved from a passive benefits policy to a policy of active follow up and guidance: this occurred in the unemployment programme as well as in the social welfare system. This research report aims to map these evolutions both for unemployment and social welfare. In a first part the follow-up by the authorities of people’s job search behaviour as well as their availability for the labour market is mapped. In the second part the report elaborates on the guidance models of the regional placement services (VDAB, FOREM, ACTIRIS en ADG). The third part considers the cooperation and coordination between the various actors and government levels in the field. The fourth part focuses on the activation measures per se.

Language: DUTCH
Contact: Kristel.bogaerts@ua.ac.be

 

 

Goedemé, T. (2010), The construction and use of sample design variables in EU-SILC. A user’s perspective. Report prepared for Eurostat, Antwerp: Herman Delink Centre for Social Policy, 16p.

 

Currently, EU‐SILC is the single most important data source on income and living conditions in the European Union. It is widely used to inform policy makers and it constitutes a major resource for social research on the social situation in the European Union and its member states. As EU‐SILC consists of samples in every EU Member State, estimates based on EU‐SILC should be accompanied by proper standard errors and confidence intervals to indicate the precision of the estimates. In order to compute accurate standard errors, it is essential to take account of the sample design. In this report the quality of the variables which should enable the latter is discussed as well as the documentation of the sample design in every EU Member State. The report lists the most important problems and shortcomings of these variables and develops practical recommendations to improve their quality and usefulness. Furthermore, some suggestions are made for better documenting the sample design in the national quality reports. The main conclusions are: (1) especially in countries with complex sample designs the sample design variables do not always reflect the real sample design; (2) the sample design should be better documented in the national quality reports in order to facilitate the evaluation of the sample design variables. The main recommendations are: (1) the responsible persons at the national statistical offices should be informed on the use of the sample design variables; additionally they should receive more guidance in the construction of the sample design variables and the description of the sample design in the national quality reports; (2) a discussion should be organised about the organisation of sample designs in the future: in some countries they seem to be unnecessarily complex, lacking an adequate sampling frame and hence prohibiting the correct computation of sampling variances; (3) a research‐based discussion should be organised about the possibilities to disclose all sample design variables in the UDB.

Language: English
Contact: Tim.goedeme@ua.ac.be

 

 

Mussche, N., Corluy, V. & Marx, I. (2010), Satisfying Labour Demand through Migration in Belgium, Report for the European Migration Network, Brussel: European Migration Network, 112p.

 

What is the Belgian approach and policy regarding economic migration? This study addressed this question and examined labour migration in Belgium from the point of view of combating labour shortages and/or labour demands. Belgium’s modest labour migration regime consisted mainly of demand-driven case-by-case granting of temporary work permits. The labour migration regime is not specifically designed to combat labour shortages. Given the fact that Belgium has a significant labour reserve of both unemployed Belgians and unemployed immigrants, there is little enthusiasm to go beyond modest demand- driven labour migration.

Language: English
Contact: Vincent.corluy@ua.ac.be

 

 

Van Mechelen, N., Marx, I., Marchal, S., Goedemé, T. & Cantillon, B. (2010), The Evolution of Social assistance and Minimum Wages in 25 European Countries, 2001-2009. Report on minimum income prepared for the European Commission, Tender no. VT/2010/067, 78p.

 

In this report we discuss the level and evolution since 2000 of social welfare and minimum wages in the European Union.

Language: English
Contact: Natascha.vanmechelen@ua.ac.be

 

 

Vermeulen, A., Marx, I. & Corluy, V. (2010), "General Assembly on Civic Orientation and Integration 2010" : Organisation and reporting of the working group "Work", Commissioned by the Flemish Agency for Domestic Governance, Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy.

 

This report prepared and organized the working group 'Work' of the Flemish "General Assembly on Civic Orientation and Integration 2010". The Assembly convened representatives of civil society, the integration sector and the sector of education, employer organisations, labour unions, organisations of new Flemings, local authorities, policy makers and academics to make concrete, realistic and constructive recommendations for shaping future Flemish integration policy. The first General Assembly focussed on issues of work, education, social cohesion and active citizenship.

Language: Dutch

Contact: Ive.marx@ua.ac.be

 

 

Bogaerts, K., & Vandenbroucke, P. (2009), Inactivity traps for people with psychological problems, Report for the King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels: King Baudouin Foundation.

 

Within the group of persons with an employment disability, persons with mental problems have a number of specific needs with respect to their (re)integration into the job market. These needs result from the symptoms of their syndrome and the recovery process. This report aims to map the different problems that this group can experience in the process of activation and employment. Persons with mental problems are entitled to apply for sickness and invalidity benefits, unemployment benefits, income replacement and or integration benefits or income support. Access to a specific system is dependent on the (previous) employment situation (or the absence thereof). The regulations applicable to these different social statuses and the cumulation schemes are complex and not all the actors (the persons concerned, employers, consultants and counsellors, consultant physicians, etc.) are well-acquainted or sufficiently familiar with them. The division of power between the federal and regional level makes coordination difficult on several points. The definitions employed for incapacity to work, medical fitness, the ability to live independently and MMPP (mental, psychological and/or psychiatric problems) vary significantly, but are not always complementary. Due to the diversity of benefit systems which persons with psychological problems can encounter, the problems they may be faced with are often system-specific. In other words, depending on the benefit system, these persons are faced with different bottlenecks and different possibilities for (re)activation. In general, the disposable household income rises with (re-)employment in comparison with the income when receiving a benefit, although in many cases the marginal financial returns are low to very low. However, the income from work may also be lower than the benefit if work can only be resumed at a lower wage than before the benefit was received. For part-time work, the cumulation schemes for wages and benefits ensure an identical or a higher income than when the benefit was received. However, with the ZIV/AMI (health and invalidity insurance) scheme there is still the danger of a fall in income at the end of employment in the context of the permitted work.

Language: DUTCH
Contact: Kristel.bogaerts@ua.ac.be

 

 

De Wilde, M. (2009), Socio-demographic characteristics of Flemish teenage parents, Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy.

 

This report is a reflection of the first research ever done on the socio-demographic characteristics of teenage parents in Flanders. It is based on two date sources: birth registrations of children between 2002 and 2006 in Flanders born of a mother younger than 20 years of age (SPE – Study Centre for Perinatal Epidemiology) and the electronic registrations of characteristics of children whose mother is younger than 20 years of age of the Ikaros-database. The examined parameters for both fathers and mothers are: age, citizenship, professional status, diploma, civil state and preventive health care by Kind & Gezin. About 80% of the mothers turn out to be older than 18. 30% has a foreign background, mainly Turkish or Eastern European. Only a small minority of minor mothers calls themselves students. More than 70% of the adult teenagers (18+) is not active (unemployed or without profession). The report further elaborates on other characteristics of the parents. Overall the teenage mothers’ profiles differ sharply by origin. Eastern European mothers are often younger, low-skilled, not active and do not have any contact with the father of their child. North African and Middle Eastern mothers are older and mostly married. The Belgian girls are often young but have the best degrees and are most often active or studying.

Language: DUTCH
Contact: marjolijn.dewilde@ua.ac.be

 

 

Bogaerts, K., Vandenbroucke, P., Marx, I. & De Graeve, D. (2009), Inactivity traps for disabled persons or persons with long term health problems, Research for the Flemish Minister of Work, Education & training in the framework of the VIONA research programme, Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy.

 

This report reflects the findings of the research project on inactivity traps for disabled persons and persons with long term health problems. In a first part the report focuses on the financial computation of the (more or less) yields from work after having gone through a period of benefit dependence. The method of standard simulations offers the possibility to do this in a structured way. The second part of the report drafts an inventory of the limitations and obstacles for the various cases collected on the basis of legislation and benefit practice.

Language: Dutch

Contact: Kristel.bogaerts@ua.ac.be

 

 

Marx, I., Verbist, G., Vandenbroucke, P., Bogaerts, K. & Vanhille, J. (2009), De werkende armen in Vlaanderen, een vergeten groep? Research report commissioned by the Flemish Minister of Work, Education and Training in the framework of the VIONA research programme, Antwerp: Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy.

 

This report empirically examines the phenomenon of “working poor” in Flanders. In a first section we situate the situation in Flanders in an international comparative perspective. The analysis shows that the phenomenon of the working poor – people who have a job but who still live in financial poverty – is far from only an Anglo-Saxon reality. The size of the problem is not a simple reflection of the number of low paid jobs but is rather the result of a complex set of socio-demographic, economic and institutional factors. The report focuses on the socio-demographic profile of the working poor in Flanders. For this we use different concepts of poverty and poverty lines. In an attempt to approach the phenomenon multi-dimensionally we also look at aspects of material deprivation. The last part of the report examines policy. We first look at the impact of fiscal and parafiscal policy, as well as of social benefits on the income and poverty position of employed persons. We examine where and how much room for improvement there is by way of policy modification. We systematically consider policy alternatives: higher minimum wages, parafiscal and fiscal cuts, higher additional social transfers, and the stimulation of multiple earnership. In a final section we make a tentative projection of the possible poverty consequences of an increase in the employment rate to 70%.

Language: DUTCH
Contact: Ive.marx@ua.ac.be

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