Stream 23

Social Investment Strategies and Risks over the Life-course


Stream convenors:
The global financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent recession has increased poverty and social exclusion in many countries, thereby reducing the human capital of vulnerable groups. Austerity measures and budget cuts in social spending in recent years have led to a new paradigm where welfare states are increasingly focused on social investments and labor markets to combat poverty and social exclusion. As a result, the role of employers and other labor market organizations in social protection might become more important in recent times. Employers can increase human capital by investing in education and training; can contribute to social protection through income protection and by offering generous unemployment programs, childcare, and/or pension schemes; and can decrease the risk of unemployment through employment protection. The focus on activation and employment, however, means that welfare states are increasingly focused on the working-age population in targeting poverty and social exclusion. Consequently, the risk of poverty and social exclusion will not only differ between different groups, but will also vary over the life-course.

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