Économie et Statistique n° 387 Greater Paris between 1975 and 1999: a geographical and economic transformation - Information technology, work organisation and social interactions - Are the State and the family unit substitutable in the financial support of the unemployed in Europe?
Are the State and the family unit substitutable in the financial support of the unemployed in Europe? A comparison based on the European panel
The financial support of the unemployed falls to both the State and the family. The European panel data for the period 1995-2000 shows a difference between the countries of Northern Europe, where the State plays a preponderant role, and those of Southern Europe, where the contribution from the family compensates for a less generous State intervention. The levels of financial support from the family and the State respectively take into account the potential salary that the unemployed person would receive if they were to work again. In the majority of the EU-10, State unemployment benefits appear to be greater when the financial support from the family is small, and are quite meagre when the family contribution is considerable. This «substitutability» more or less pronounced from one State to the other is explained in part by the weight, variable between the countries, of the different family configurations in the households of the unemployed: young people living within the family unit and partners are more supported by the family, whilst heads of households and single people are essentially beneficiaries of the State. The family contribution does not fully compensate the disparities of State support observed between the countries. During the period observed, Denmark is the country where the unemployed were best supported by the State whilst, at the other extreme, the family, playing an important role in the countries of Southern Europe, did not compensate for the low State benefits. In France, the combination of State and family support results in a high average benefits rate of the losses linked to unemployment. In all the countries, family financial support noticeably improves the relative situation of certain categories of the unemployed, particularly that of women with a partner and young adults living in the parental home.