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Decomposing Youth Poverty in 22 Countries


Anglo-Saxon liberal regimes provide limited social provisions and

target the needy with means-testing entitlements. In response to

young adults’ economic needs during the school-to-work transition,

although allowances are provided for first-time job-seekers in some

countries, benefits are low and vocational training tends to be

short-term (Cinalli & Giugni, 2013; Esping-Andersen, 1990, 1999;

Gallie & Paugam, 2000; Walther, 2006).

Corporatist conservative regimes focus on social insurance

programs that sustain status differences with different benefits for

different occupational groups, whereas residual social assistance

supports individuals in irregular sectors and those not in the labor

force. First-time job-seekers or workers in non-core sectors are not

covered by insurance-based unemployment protection (Cinalli &

Giugni, 2013; Esping-Andersen, 1990, 1999; Gallie & Paugam,



Walther, 2006).

Because of similarities in some Southern European countries

such as Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, some scholars have

viewed them as a single cluster (Bonoli, 1997; Ferrera, 1996).

Their welfare systems have different provisions for workers in core

and non-core sectors and separate programs for different

occupational groups. Their welfare systems provide high levels of

transfer to the regular labor force but only limited social provisions

to irregular workers (Ferrera, 1996). Young adults, women, and

older adults, usually overrepresented in the irregular sectors or

informal economies, thus, are at higher risk of poverty (Guillen &

Matsaganis, 2000).

Post-socialist countries comprise the fifth type of welfare state.

These countries have experienced similar political and social

changes and challenges, including the legacy of socialism and new

social costs of transition. In the transition from centralized

economies and full social protection to market economies, these

countries have restructured their social programs, reducing pension

replacement levels, making social provisions more occupation-

based, and introducing means-testing for family allowances