Activity, incomes and social welfare

A comparison across four new EU Member States


M. Stanculescu, T. Stanovnik




Stanculescu, M. & Stanovnik, T. (Eds.) (2009). Activity, Incomes and Social Welfare. A Comparison across Four New EU Member States. Public Policy and Social Welfare, Public Policy and Social Welfare 33. Farnham (UK): Ashgate.


The book’s main aim is to describe and quantify the large socioeconomic changes which have occurred in four new Member States of the European Union (Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia), since the early 1990s. Within the broad frame of socioeconomic change, a number of topics were explored in greater detail: changes in activity, occupational status and educational attainment, household income sources and income inequality, and risk of income poverty.

The analysis was based on household budget surveys, and complemented with other statistical sources, so that a coherent analysis and interpretation is offered. For example, the impact of large changes in social policy, such as changes in entitlements and amounts disbursed for child benefits and unemployment benefits is assessed at the household level. Similarly, changes in income inequality are analysed by income sources, documenting the important role of social benefits in decreasing overall income inequality. Risk of income poverty is analysed with particular emphasis on potentially vulnerable population sub-groups.

The value of this research lies not only in its “blend” of aggregate statistical data (published by national statistical offices) and micro-data (i.e. data from household budget surveys), but also in its methodological coherency. The country chapters are based on common methodological guidelines, with only very minor deviations; the methodological guidelines and technical issues (related to survey data) are thoroughly explained in the Technical Annex.

Manuela Sofia St─ânculescu is Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest. Tine Stanovnik is Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Economic Research in Ljubljana.