This volume examines the recent trends and developments in minimum income schemes in Western Europe. Today even the richest countries in the world have levels of poverty that few social thinkers would have anticipated a century ago, if told what their countries’ per capita income would now be. In contrast, many countries contend that the eradication of poverty is the primary goal of social and economic policy. This book investigates how current policies often fall short of those goals. The authors reveal why countries need mechanisms to reduce wage inequality and why they choose to provide universal benefits instead of systems of selective benefits targeted at the poor. Along with cross-countries comparisons, the volume also presents analysis of the minimum income schemes in effect in France, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Belgium, and Greece.
Contributors include Bea Cantillon, Ive Marx, Karel Van den Bosch, Serge Paugam, Nicolas Farvaque, Robert Salais, Alfredo Bruto da Costa, David Benassi, Enzo Mingione, Sean Healy and Brigid Reynolds, Simon Aho, Ikka Virjo, Anna Cristina D’Addio, Isabelle De Greef, Michale Rosholm, and Manos Matsaganis.