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Title: Unemployment and social security : a comparative analysis of benefits for the unemployed in Great Britain and West Germany
Author: Clasen, Jochen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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The thesis examines the development of unemployment compensation in Great Britain and West Germany between the mid 1960s and the end of the 1980s. The main objective is to identify the relative importance and interrelation of factors leading to decisions affecting the level, duration and conditions of assistance and insurance benefits for unemployed people in a comparative context. Policy decisions can only partly be explained, it is argued, with reference to political, economic and ideological factors. Benefit changes were influenced by the level of unemployment, the perception of unemployment as a social and political problem, economic developments, economic policy doctrines adopted by governments, and the composition of governments. However, outcomes were also strongly influenced by different welfare state traditions, principles and institutional arrangements. In West Germany, insurance benefit levels have traditionally been closely related to previous earnings. Income support arrangements for unemployed people are fragmented into separate administrative funding mechanisms, based on three different social security principles. In the traditional British welfare state context the principle of contributory unemployment benefits has remained less developed and inferior to the idea of modest flat-rate income support. Both insurance and assistance benefits are centrally administered and financed. The study seeks to demonstrate that these institutional variables or 'welfare legacies' acted as factors which guided, constrained or facilitated policy decisions to a considerable degree by shaping interests and narrowing the scope of seriously considered policy options.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available