Nr 1 (13) 2017

Social Pol­icy


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Table of Con­tents 1/2017 Eng­lish Edition

FROM THE EDITORSElż­bi­eta Bojanowska, Kaz­imierz W. Frieske


Elż­bi­eta Bojanowska (PhD, Car­di­nal Ste­fan Wyszyński Uni­ver­sity, War­saw, Poland)
Kaz­imierz W. Frieske (Pro­fes­sor, Insti­tute Labour and Social Stud­ies, War­saw, Poland)
It is not excluded that over a dozen or so years the ongo­ing dis­cus­sions about the 500+ child sup­port ben­e­fit – cer­tainly one of the key social pro­grams of the last quarter-century – will become a mate­r­ial based on which stu­dents of social sci­ences will have the oppor­tu­nity to analyse the prob­lems result­ing from think­ing that prompts us to seek sim­ple cause-effect rela­tion­ships and try to explain the var­i­ous social phe­nom­ena with one inde­pen­dent vari­able.
Unfor­tu­nately, what we usu­ally con­sider to be the result of intro­duc­ing of some – sup­pos­edly – change-inducing stim­u­lus into the social real­ity is in fact the result of a com­plex sys­tem of many dif­fer­ent fac­tors, which all influ­ence, to dif­fer­ent degrees, the above men­tioned result, i.e. our depen­dent vari­able. The pub­lic opin­ion expects a sim­ple mes­sage from the speaker – for exam­ple – that the 500+ child sup­port ben­e­fit results in the reduc­tion in the rate of poverty or in the decrease in the cost of social assis­tance, but after all, such reg­u­lar­i­ties are con­di­tional. Much depends on the sit­u­a­tion on the labour mar­ket, the dynam­ics of wage growth, etc. Some scep­ti­cal opin­ions on the child sup­port ben­e­fit were pre­dict­ing its dra­matic impact on the labour mar­ket It turned out, how­ever, that the claim on the demo­ti­vat­ing nature of the 500+ child sup­port ben­e­fit was refer­ring to sim­pli­fied and – as it turned out – unre­li­able intu­itions rooted in the old, con­stantly repeated rhetoric, accord­ing to which people’s entry into the labour mar­ket is pri­mar­ily dri­ven by the eco­nomic con­straint. It is easy, after all, to claim that at least part of the work­ers whose fam­i­lies receive this ben­e­fit have not retired from the labour mar­ket, but “have been retired” – replaced by migrant work­ers will­ing to work for less money.
We should there­fore humbly admit that the temp­ta­tion to appear in pub­lic dis­cus­sions leads to a con­tin­u­ous reduc­tion of the com­plex­ity of social real­i­ties, and also to ignor­ing the fact that while the fam­i­lies do think ratio­nally, mak­ing their eco­nomic deci­sions, but this ratio­nal­ity is “bounded”, deter­mined by the real­i­ties of place and time. Hence, it is worth remem­ber­ing that who­ever inter­prets, too hasty and / or based on undis­closed assump­tions, the sim­ple coex­is­tence of phe­nom­ena as a sim­ple sequence of causes and effects is wrong.
The con­clu­sion would there­fore be that: even though – guided by ratio­nal think­ing – we do not fully under­stand the com­plex­ity of func­tion­ing of the “Fam­ily 500+” pro­gram; it is how­ever clear that its cor­re­lates are at least encour­ag­ing – regard­less of what is said about its dif­fer­en­ti­ated impact on the sit­u­a­tion of Pol­ish fam­i­lies.

Krzysztof Hage­me­jer (Pro­fes­sor, Inter­na­tional Cen­tre for Research and Analy­sis ICRA, Poland)
The recent intro­duc­tion of cash fam­ily ben­e­fit pro­gramme “500+” ignited debate on the desired lev­els of expen­di­ture on fam­ily ben­e­fits and of over­all social pro­tec­tion expen­di­ture in Poland. The objec­tive of the paper is to inform this debate through com­par­ing lev­els of fam­ily ben­e­fit expen­di­ture in Poland with the lev­els in other Euro­pean Union and OECD coun­tries. Analy­sis of the avail­able data shows that Pol­ish over­all gross social pro­tec­tion expen­di­ture – mea­sured as its ratio to GDP – is sig­nif­i­cantly lower than the EU aver­age and, after 2000, has been declin­ing slightly (while EU aver­age of this ratio has tended to increase). Expen­di­ture on old-age, sur­vivors’, and dis­abil­ity pen­sions is (as a per­cent­age of GDP) not much lower than the EU aver­age (although, after tak­ing into account the impact of direct tax­a­tion, the dif­fer­ence between expen­di­ture lev­els in Poland com­pared to other coun­tries becomes much greater). At the same time, expen­di­ture on health, unem­ploy­ment, and fam­ily ben­e­fits has over the last 15 years been at sig­nif­i­cantly lower lev­els than lev­els pre­vail­ing in a major­ity of EU coun­tries. Until 2015, fam­ily ben­e­fit expen­di­ture in Poland was – as a per­cent­age of GDP – sig­nif­i­cantly lower than the EU aver­age. Expen­di­ture on cash ben­e­fits in 2012 was 0.7%, which was a decline from 1% of GDP in 2000 and much less than the EU aver­age of 1.6%. Since 2013, cash fam­ily ben­e­fit expen­di­ture has been increas­ing faster than GDP, sur­pass­ing 0,8% of GDP in 2015. The intro­duc­tion of 500+ more than dou­bled the expen­di­ture to GDP ratio so that in 2016 it was 1.85% of GDP and one can esti­mate that in 2017, expen­di­ture on all types of cash fam­ily ben­e­fits will sur­pass 2% of GDP. As expen­di­ture on non-cash aspects of fam­ily ben­e­fits (ben­e­fits in kind like kinder­gartens and tax breaks for chil­dren) are not much lower in Poland than the EU aver­age, pro­gramme 500+ raises over­all social pro­tec­tion expen­di­ture on fam­ily and chil­dren to about 3% of GDP which is slightly over the EU aver­age but still lower than sev­eral higher spend­ing coun­tries in this area – UK, Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries, France or Bel­gium for exam­ple. One has to bear in mind that imi­ta­tions of data qual­ity and avail­abil­ity and dif­fer­ences between coun­tries both in terms of pol­icy instru­ments used by social pro­tec­tion sys­tems and dif­fer­ences of the extent to which var­i­ous social ben­e­fits are affected by direct and indi­rect tax­a­tion, require cau­tion when draw­ing con­clu­sions from above com­par­i­son of expen­di­ture levels.

Key­words: fam­ily ben­e­fits, social pro­tec­tion, social expenditure

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Stanisława Goli­nowska (Pro­fes­sor, Insti­tute Labour and Social Stud­ies, War­saw, Poland)
Agnieszka Sowa-Kofta (PhD, Insti­tute Labour and Social Stud­ies, War­saw, Poland)
The arti­cle is devoted to the analy­sis of the pre­lim­i­nary results of the “Fam­ily 500+” cash ben­e­fit intro­duced in Poland in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2016. The results are con­sid­ered on a the­o­ret­i­cal and com­par­a­tive basis from the point of view of the polit­i­cally declared objec­tives of the cash ben­e­fit, espe­cially the rad­i­cal reduc­tion of child poverty and the improve­ment of fer­til­ity. The analy­sis is based on the BBGD unit data (2015 and 2016), EU-SILC data, includ­ing 2016, and data from the OECD data­base (Fam­ily Data­base). Pre­lim­i­nary results show that the 500+ ben­e­fit suc­ceeded in reduc­ing income poverty in many fam­i­lies, improv­ing the struc­ture of con­sump­tion for the needs of the whole fam­ily, but, at the same time, increased the ten­dency of moth­ers to leave the labour mar­ket, which is a phe­nom­e­non that had already started in Poland before the imple­men­ta­tion of the 500+ benefit.

Key­words: child poverty, mate­r­ial depri­va­tion, cash ben­e­fits, fer­til­ity, fam­ily friendly policy

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Elż­bi­eta Bojanowska (PhD, Car­di­nal Ste­fan Wyszyński Uni­ver­sity, War­saw, Poland)
The Act of 11 Feb­ru­ary 2016 on state aid in rais­ing chil­dren intro­duced the right to untaxed child ben­e­fits of PLN 500 per month, which is granted to each sec­ond and sub­se­quent child until they are 18 years of age. This ben­e­fit is an invest­ment that is intended to increase human cap­i­tal and sup­port fam­i­lies in ensur­ing their children’s safety and favourable con­di­tions for rais­ing chil­dren, and thus aims to reduce the phe­nom­e­non of child poverty.

Key­words: child ben­e­fit 500+, fam­ily, poverty, social assis­tance, social work

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Michał Brzez­iński (Pro­fes­sor, Uni­ver­sity of War­saw, Poland)
Mateusz Najsz­tub (Mas­ter, Cen­tre for Eco­nomic Analy­sis, Szczecin, Poland)
We use the microsim­u­la­tion approach and house­hold bud­get sur­vey data from 2015 to esti­mate the short­term impact of the “Fam­ily 500+” pro­gramme on house­hold incomes, poverty and inequal­ity. The results sug­gest that the pro­gramme will have the strongest impact on the incomes of house­holds at the lower end of income dis­tri­b­u­tion. Extreme con­sump­tion poverty in the whole pop­u­la­tion is reduced in the range from 35 to 37%, while child poverty in the range from 75 to 100%, depend­ing on the choice of equiv­a­lence scale and assump­tions about changes in house­hold expen­di­tures. The paper shows also that the pro­gramme will reduce the Gini index of income inequal­ity in Poland by a few per­cent­age points. The pro­gramme can lead to a lower risk of extreme poverty for house­holds with chil­dren as com­pared to small house­holds (e.g. single-person house­holds). Analy­sis based on cer­tain equiv­a­lence scales sug­gests that even before the imple­men­ta­tion of the “Fam­ily 500+” pro­gramme extreme poverty among house­holds with chil­dren was com­pa­ra­ble or lower than among one-person or child­less house­holds. The pro­gres­sive impact of “Fam­ily 500+” pro­gramme on income dis­tri­b­u­tion in Poland may be reduced in the longer run if labour mar­ket activ­ity of low income house­holds will be affected negatively.

Key­words: child-care ben­e­fits, poverty, inequal­ity, microsim­u­la­tion, equiv­a­lence scales

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Ryszard Szarfen­berg (Pro­fes­sor, Insti­tute of Social Pol­icy, Uni­ver­sity of War­saw, Poland)
Child care ben­e­fit (500+) is a new cash instru­ment of fam­ily pol­icy intro­duced in Poland in 2016. There were a lot of dis­cus­sions on many respects of the new ben­e­fit. One of them is expected impact on child, fam­ily and total poverty. In the first part I described goals of fam­ily pol­icy and the 500+ in com­par­i­son to fam­ily ben­e­fits. Sec­ond part con­tains crit­i­cal exam­i­na­tion of offi­cial jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of 500+ in the light of a the­ory of poverty reduc­tion by cash ben­e­fits. In the main part I pre­sented shortly microsim­u­la­tion mod­els and results of three of them (Min­istry of Finance, World Bank and Euro­pean Com­mis­sion). It is likely that 500+ impact on over­all poverty and child and fam­ily poverty in finan­cial dimen­sion will be impres­sive. In the result the change of the struc­ture of poverty risk in Poland can be substantial.

Key­words: fam­ily ben­e­fits, child allowances, poverty, microsim­u­la­tion, child poverty, 500+

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Elż­bi­eta Kryńska (Pro­fes­sor, Insti­tute of Labour and Social Pol­icy, War­saw, Poland)
The aim of this paper is to iden­tify the likely impact of one of the fam­ily pol­icy instru­ments in Poland, the “Fam­ily 500+” pro­gramme. The analy­ses were focused on the sup­ply side of the labour mar­ket. The demand side, with­out neglect­ing it, was treated as one of the deter­mi­nants of labour sup­ply. As we are still lack­ing in reli­able research, as far as com­pre­hen­sive research in this area is con­cerned, the analy­sis is based on the knowl­edge con­tained in the source lit­er­a­ture and the research expe­ri­ence of the author. The arti­cle presents ele­ments of fam­ily pol­icy in Poland, fac­tors deter­min­ing the num­ber of labour resources and their pro­fes­sional activ­ity, the pro­gramme “Fam­ily 500+” and its influ­ence on the Pol­ish labour mar­ket in the short term, as well as the prob­a­ble impact in the medium term.

Key­words: fam­ily 500+, labour mar­ket, fam­ily pol­icy, work resources, pro­fes­sional activity

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Kinga Pawłowska (PhD, War­saw Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, War­saw, Poland)
The paper is about child allowance (500+), a new fam­ily ben­e­fit intro­duced in Poland in 2016. In the pub­lic sphere there is a lot of dis­cus­sions con­nected with this new ben­e­fit, but most of them present the specialist’s points of view. The main goal of this paper is dif­fer­ent, it present the ele­ments of ”local knowl­edge”, the local points of view: peo­ple who ben­e­fit from the social sys­tem because of their dif­fi­cult finan­cial sit­u­a­tion and peo­ple who work in the local pub­lic insti­tu­tions and observe the impact of the new child allowance on the poor peo­ple every­day life. In the paper there are pre­sented the qual­i­ta­tive research results. Con­clu­sions are ambigu­ous and com­pli­cated – in the respondent’s opin­ions we can observe both the advan­tages and the dis­ad­van­tages of the new child allowance (500+).

Key­words: child allowance, poverty, „local knowl­edge”, local points of view

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Maria Pierzchal­ska (PhD, Euro­pean Social and Tech­ni­cal School in Radom, Poland)
The “500+ Fam­ily” pro­gramme, which runs from mid-2016, is the open­ing of a new chap­ter in Pol­ish fam­ily pol­icy. It is the response of the gov­ern­ment to the demo­graphic cri­sis caused by the mass emi­gra­tion of young peo­ple and the low birth rate, which is due to the rapidly increas­ing num­ber of peo­ple in retire­ment age, result­ing in aging soci­ety. The main objec­tive of the pro­gram is to cre­ate con­di­tions con­ducive to hav­ing and rais­ing chil­dren, result­ing in a rever­sal of the unfavourable demo­graphic trend to increase the fer­til­ity rate. The pro­gram is also an invest­ment in human cap­i­tal and reduc­tion of poverty among fam­i­lies with chil­dren. The assumed pop­u­la­tion growth and the trans­for­ma­tion of the fam­ily model depends on changes in the work­place, which are pri­mar­ily the respon­si­bil­ity of women. The bar­ri­ers to par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in the labour mar­ket, such as the lack of flex­i­bil­ity in work­ing time, inequal­ity in earn­ings, the inabil­ity to rec­on­cile work and fam­ily respon­si­bil­i­ties, and the fear of pro­fes­sional inac­tiv­ity. This deprives them of both the inde­pen­dence as well as the abil­ity to self­ful­fil­ment or loss of pre­vi­ous com­pe­tences. The con­se­quence of this will be the loss of the right to a fair old-age pen­sion as a result of the non-payment of insur­ance pre­mi­ums for future retire­ment. The intro­duc­tion of the 500 Plus pro­gram causes of neces­sity of changes in the eco­nomic and social poli­cies of the state.

Key­words: “500+ fam­ily” pro­gramme, fam­ily, fam­ily pol­icy, female labour mar­ket, senior­ity, pen­sions for women

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List of Con­tri­bu­tions

Elż­bi­eta Bojanowska – doc­tor of soci­ol­ogy, social politi­cian, assis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Insti­tute of Soci­ol­ogy of the Car­di­nal Ste­fan Wyszyński Uni­ver­sity in War­saw; Under­sec­re­tary of State at the Min­istry of Fam­ily, Labour and Social Pol­icy. Main areas of research: pop­u­la­tion age­ing and its socioe­co­nomic con­se­quences, inter­gen­er­a­tional rela­tions and prob­lems related to poverty and social exclu­sion.

Michał Brzez­iński – is an Adjunct Pro­fes­sor at the Fac­ulty of Eco­nomic Sci­ences Uni­ver­sity of War­saw where he teaches his­tory of eco­nom­ics and polit­i­cal eco­nom­ics. His research inter­ests include mod­el­ling income and wealth dis­tri­b­u­tion, mea­sure­ment of poverty and inequal­ity, hap­pi­ness eco­nom­ics and eco­nomic pol­icy in Poland. His pub­li­ca­tions are found in jour­nals such as Eco­nomic Sys­tems, Empir­i­cal Eco­nom­ics, Jour­nal of Applied Econo­met­rics, Phys­ica A, Applied Eco­nom­ics, Eco­nom­ics Let­ters, Sci­en­to­met­rics, and Social Indi­ca­tors Research.

Stanisława Goli­nowska – Pro­fes­sor at the Jagiel­lon­ian Uni­ver­sity Med­ical Col­lege, Cra­cow, and at the Insti­tute for Labour and Social Stud­ies, War­saw. She has led and par­tic­i­pated in many sci­en­tific Pol­ish and Euro­pean projects about social pol­icy and pub­lic health, par­tic­u­larly on poverty, age­ing, dis­abil­ity and long-term care, espe­cially ori­ented on Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­pean issues.

Krzysztof Hage­me­jer – PhD, pro­fes­sor at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg Uni­ver­sity of Applied Sci­ences, Ger­many. Lec­turer at Col­legium Civ­i­tas, War­saw and Maas­tricht Grad­u­ate School of Gov­er­nance. Econ­o­mist, spe­cial­iz­ing in eco­nom­ics and financ­ing of social poli­cies. Between 1993 and 2014 at Social Pro­tec­tion Depart­ment of the Inter­na­tional Labour Organ­i­sa­tion in Geneva, 2013–2014 Chief of Social Pro­tec­tion Pol­icy, Stan­dards and Gov­er­nance Branch. Key mem­ber of the team work­ing on new inter­na­tional labour stan­dard, Rec­om­men­da­tion no 202 con­cern­ing National Floors of Social Pro­tec­tion, adopted by the Inter­na­tional Labour Con­fer­ence in 2012. Before join­ing the ILO, assis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Depart­ment of Eco­nom­ics of War­saw Uni­ver­sity and adviser to the Pol­ish Min­is­ter of Labour and Social Policy.

Elż­bi­eta Kryńska – Pro­fes­sor Kryn­ska works at the Uni­ver­sity of Lodz, where she is a Direc­tor of Depart­ment of Eco­nomic Pol­icy, and in the Insti­tute of Labour and Social Stud­ies, where she is a Head of Depart­ment of Employ­ment and Labour Mar­ket. Her pro­fes­sional inter­ests are focused on con­tem­po­rary labour mar­kets issues. She is a well-known expert in the area of socio-economic pol­icy, in par­tic­u­lar within labour mar­ket issues. She has par­tic­i­pated in many sem­i­nars and con­fer­ences, pre­sent­ing results of research stud­ies. She is an author of about 300 research papers and books. Pro­fes­sor Kryn­ska has been a project man­ager in many national and inter­na­tional research projects.

Mateusz Najsz­tub – has been work­ing as an ana­lyst in Cen­tre for Eco­nomic Analy­sis, CenEA in Szczecin since 2013. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Chem­istry from the Adam Mick­iewicz Uni­ver­sity in Poz­nań in 2011. In his work at CenEA he focuses mainly on the SIMPL and EUROMOD microsim­u­la­tion mod­els that pro­vide the oppor­tu­nity to analyse direct effects of tax and ben­e­fit pol­icy reforms on house­hold dis­pos­able income. Apart from keep­ing the model up to date he also is involved in tech­ni­cal main­te­nance includ­ing data cor­rec­tion and weight adjust­ments. He also works with results of the SHARE 50+ sur­vey, where he focuses on analysing social exclu­sion among 50+ pop­u­la­tion.

Kinga Pawłowska – is a soci­ol­o­gist and anthro­pol­o­gist. Since 2008 she has worked as an Assis­tant Lec­turer, and since 2015 as an Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor at the Fac­ulty of Admin­is­tra­tion and Social Sci­ences at the War­saw Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy. Her schol­arly inter­ests are diverse, yet they con­cen­trate mainly around the issues of social pol­icy, inher­it­ing of poverty, soci­ol­ogy and anthro­pol­ogy of orga­ni­za­tion, power in orga­ni­za­tion and crit­i­cal man­age­ment stud­ies. She is an author of a few arti­cles, and co-author of mono­graphic works and hand­books. She has par­tic­i­pated in the projects on social econ­omy and the processes of inher­it­ing poverty. Now, she carry out the project on power in orga­ni­za­tion.

Maria Pierzchal­ska – A grad­u­ate of the Fac­ulty of Law and Admin­is­tra­tion at the Uni­ver­sity of War­saw. From 1991 PhD in eco­nom­ics from the Fac­ulty of Eco­nom­ics and Social Sci­ences at the War­saw School of Eco­nom­ics. Since 1977 she was an employee of the Social Insur­ance Insti­tu­tion in Radom. In 1991 she became direc­tor of Social Insur­ance Insti­tu­tion in Radom. Since 1995 she has been rec­tor of the sev­eral Uni­ver­si­ties in Radom. She is an author of sev­eral pub­li­ca­tions on social secu­rity and social pol­icy. She is a orga­nizer and co-organizer of numer­ous sci­en­tific con­fer­ences, founder of the “Open Hearts” Foun­da­tion and the Pol­ish Social Insur­ance Asso­ci­a­tion in Radom. Founder and rec­tor of the Euro­pean Uni­ver­sity Radom-Warsaw.

Agnieszka Sowa-Kofta – Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor at the Insti­tute of Labour and Social Stud­ies and expert of the Cen­ter for Social and Eco­nomic Research – CASE Foun­da­tion. Her research inter­ests focus on social pro­tec­tion pol­icy, includ­ing poverty, inequal­i­ties, health and long-term care. She has been par­tic­i­pat­ing in numer­ous national and inter­na­tional research projects.

Ryszard Szarfen­berg – PhD in polit­i­cal sci­ences, employed at the War­saw Uni­ver­sity in the Insti­tute of Social Pol­icy, main research areas are poverty, social exclu­sion and social assis­tance, reviewer at the Inter­na­tional Jour­nal of Social Welfare.


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