The social investment litmus test : family formation, employment and poverty
Journal of European social policy, 2021, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 282-296
PLAVGO, Ilze, HEMERIJCK, Anton, The social investment litmus test : family formation, employment and poverty, Journal of European social policy, 2021, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 282-296 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/68562
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Over the past decade, the notion of ‘social investment’ (SI) has gained considerable traction in the political debates over welfare state futures. The multifaceted character of SI policy interventions, the effects of policy complementarities and interactions for different social groups and generational cohorts, and the challenge of delineating effects across different time dimensions, we argue, are not (yet) properly addressed by current empirical research. This paper contributes to reorienting the measurement of SI returns into a longer-term perspective, conceptualising them as people’s work- and welfare- related outcomes. It operationalises in a novel fashion macro-level data across OECD countries to analyse the medium-term aggregate effects of SI stock, flow and buffer policies with a focus on arguably the most critical stages in the post-industrial life-cycle course: transition into employment and family formation. Our findings imply that the so-called ‘Matthew effects’, following the biblical proverb ‘to him that hath shall be given’, identified in previous research stem from a measurement of SI returns conceptualised in a short-term redistributive perspective. Moving on to longer-term returns to SI policies at the societal level reveals positive outcomes for families with children.
First published online 12 September 2020
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/68562
Full-text via DOI: 10.1177/0958928720950627
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.