Main Content

Social Policy

Basic Protection

Securing a basic level of protection against adverse economic circumstances is the main goal of social security systems. To achieve this goal, countries have established a variety of policies to offer protection from various risks. DICE covers employment injuries, invalidity and poverty, and also features a section dedicated to social protection expenditure.

Family

Although policies and instruments in support of families may seem wide-ranging, their main goal, regardless of the country in question, can be summarised as creating favourable framework conditions for families through financial support, facilitating a work-family balance, and providing access to childcare. Public support for families is designed as an essential tool to counter the adverse consequences of demographic changes for labour markets and social security systems in developed countries. Thus, policy instruments aim to increase fertility and female labour market participation. The type of support that is available for families varies greatly across countries. Key instruments include, for example, child-related leave entitlements, childcare services and direct or indirect subsidies for families (such as childcare benefits, tax benefits) or flexible working measures for working parents.

Health

Good health is a precondition not only for social well-being, but also for economic development. Institutions aimed at achieving a healthy population vary greatly between countries. Large differences exist, for instance, in health care financing, conditions for entitlement to benefits, and pharmaceutical pricing policies. This section offers information on health system institutions like the organisational structure of the health care system, benefit schemes, and pharmaceutical pricing policies, and also data on health system outcomes like health expenditure and the health status of the population.

Pensions

Pensions are a major form of income transfers in all developed countries. Pension systems differ starkly as to what extent pension benefits depend on past earnings. In Bismarckian systems, pension benefits are related to past earnings. In Beveridgean systems, such a link is much weaker. Against a background of aging populations, dealing with pension liabilities is a major challenge. This DICE field provides an overview of pension rules, financing and spending, and how these have changed and are forecast to change.



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