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Reforming Social Policy: Learning from the Dutch Experience

Philip R. de Jong

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), 1999, vol. 135, issue III, 253-271

Abstract: A decade ago the Netherlands was considered the sick man of Europe. The number of working age beneficiaries per 100 workers was 43. About half of those beneficiaries were in receipt of a sickness benefit or an invalidity pension. In the eyes of many foreign observers the Netherlands now ist a successful model of employment policy. This paper describes a number of factors that contributed to employment growth and lower social welfare spending. It focuses on the disability insurance programme - the "raw nerve" of Dutch social policy - and discusses the ways in which it was amended and compares current privatisation proposals with a more consistent model offered by the United States Workers' Compensation scheme.

Date: 1999
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