IZA DP No. 4627: Minimum-Income Benefits in OECD Countries: Policy Design, Effectiveness and Challenges
published in: D. J. Besharov and K. A. Couch (eds.), Counting the Poor. New Thinking About European Poverty Measures and Lessons for the United States, 2012, Oxford University Press, 171-209. Also available as OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Paper
Almost all OECD countries operate comprehensive minimum-income programmes for working-age individuals, either as last-resort safety nets alongside primary income replacement benefits, or as the principal instrument for delivering social protection. Such safety-net benefits aim primarily at providing an acceptable standard of living for families unable to earn sufficient incomes from other sources. This paper provides an overview of social assistance and other minimum-income programmes in OECD countries, summarises their main features, and highlights a number of current policy challenges.