Month: February 2012

  • The end of the American labour market model?

    In a guest post from Declan Gaffney – shortened from a recent post at his blog L’Art Social – he shows that US employment rates are increasingly unimpressive in international context, despite the claims often made in the UK. Comments from both sides of the Atlantic are welcomed! Only a few years ago the contrast between […]

  • “Never working families” – a misleading sound-bite?

    In this guest post, Lindsey Macmillan and Paul Gregg look at the claim that there are generations within families who have never worked. From their position as probably the foremost experts on intergenerational worklessness in the UK, they find the evidence wanting… The government and indeed all major political parties have expressed concern about low social […]

  • Why don’t we want to pay unemployment benefits? Pt.1

    Why don’t we want to pay unemployment benefits? Pt.1

    Inspired by Ben’s recent batch of posts on the benefits system, I wanted to spend some time talking a bit more about how people on benefits are perceived, and how and why that might have changed over time. In his detailed discussion of conditionality and deservingness, Ben drew attention to the pretty steep decline in […]

  • What Will it Take to End Teenage Pregnancy in the US?

    Remember the culture wars? If you tuned into the chatter on contraception and religious freedom in the last couple weeks, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was 1985 all over again. The Obama administration wants to require all employers to include contraception in their health insurance at no cost. The Catholic Church balked […]

  • A few things that inequality causes

    Of the endless stream of papers that flash in front of my eyes every week, a large number are ‘Spirit Level style’ – that is, they look at the relationship of inequality and a ‘bad thing’ between countries/areas. If I blogged about each of these then there would be no room for anything else on […]

  • Moving on – a social experiment

    At a time of economic crisis, so the folk wisdom usually goes, any job is better than no job – no matter how badly paid or how poor the prospects. Yet perhaps surprisingly, all the talk in the UK is now about job quality: how do we create the sorts of jobs in Britain that […]

  • Unemployment Disparities in Three Pictures

    Any way you look at it, the unemployment numbers released this week are good news for American workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the economy added 243,000 new jobs (at least after applying seasonal adjustments), and the official unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent. The official unemployment rate is an important indicator, but […]

  • European Social Policy in Defense of the Welfare State: the British and the Italian Manifesto

    Comparative social policy tends to underline policy differences (e.g. in the worlds of welfare literature), but common austerity trends in Europe are leading to similar internal reactions. In Italy and in the UK, social policy academics have produced two  documents to defend welfare state intervention: “In Defense of Welfare” (by the Social Policy Association) and […]