What lessons can we gain through European minimum income schemes?


What are the reasons for the phenomenon of one not taking-up-the minimum income benefit one is entitled to across Europe? And for those who take it, is it relevant whether or not they receive it under integrated social assistance schemes?

Among others, we tried to answer these questions in our presentations at this year’s ESPAnet’s 18th Annual Online Conference.

Based on the article written with Márton Csillag, senior researcher at BI, our analyst Borbála Greskovics, reported on the characteristics of non-take-up (NTU) of the Minimum Income Benefits (MIB) that may be similar in 10 European countries representing a wide array of welfare regimes.

Based on standardized survey data and microsimulation using Euromod, we revealed that the expected benefit amount seems to be a relevant factor in NTU. Furthermore, our empirical research showed that the relevance of stigma might be an additional characteristic.

There are several studies investigating the NTU rate of MIB in a single country, however there are none which compare countries, and investigate the main common causes of NTU accross Europe in a unified framework.

Ágota Scharle, senior researcher at BI in her presentation reported on the conditions that may foster coordination between public employment services (PES) and other service providers in activating and enabling hard-to-place clients.

First, the paper defines quantifiable indicators to measure the degree of coordination between the PES and other actors. Second, using a dataset that applies these indicators to the most relevant services for minimum income recipients in 28 European Member States, it investigates the types of institutional setup that may foster coordination between service providers.

The paper identifies three models that may favour integrated employment services. (1) Municipal systems where social benefit administration, social counselling and labour market activation are all performed by the local government. (2) Centralised systems where these functions are all managed by a single centralised agency for employment and welfare or a joint agency of municipality and PES. (3) Systems where the PES is responsible for activation and benefit administration is separately but centrally governed (typically, by an insurance agency).

For more details see below:

Developing methodology to measure the returns on investment from integrated social assistance schemes

Identifying factors that determine the success of service integration reforms

You can read the full programme of ESPAnet’s Annual Conference here.