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Comparing Formal Unemployment Compensation Systems in 15 OECD Countries

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Abstract

This study contributes to the welfare regime literature by analyzing unemployment compensation programmes – unemployment insurance (UI)/assistance (UA) programmes and redundancy pay schemes – of welfare state/occupational welfare regimes. It covers 15 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) selected from Southern European, Liberal, Continental-corporatist and Social Democratic country clusters. In contrast to the common argument that Southern European countries have underdeveloped formal unemployment compensation systems, this study argues that they (especially in Spain, Portugal, and to some extent Italy) are comparable in strength to those in Continental-corporatist countries if occupational welfare programmes – notably redundancy pay – are considered alongside welfare state programmes for unemployment protection. The study also outlines the characteristics of redundancy pay schemes in the four country clusters and shows how different redundancy pay schemes are linked to UI/UA schemes in these clusters.

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