Federalism and welfare to work in Switzerland: The development of active social policies in a fragmented welfare state
|Title||Federalism and welfare to work in Switzerland: The development of active social policies in a fragmented welfare state|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Bonoli, G, Champion, C|
|Journal||Publius: The Journal of Federalism|
|Keywords||activation, federalism, social policy|
This article is concerned with the impact that federal structures have on the development of welfare to work or activation policies. More precisely, it argues that the incentives and the risks associated with a division of responsibilities among different jurisdictions may constitute an obstacle to broad reforms that promote labor market participation of nonworking benefit recipients. This argument is illustrated with a case study discussing policy responses to a massive rise in caseloads among social assistance recipients in Switzerland. We conclude that the lack of a fundamental reform was the consequence of the incentives provided by the federal structure of the program. These incentives have both encouraged cost shifting among jurisdictions and discouraged involvement of federal level policy makers in a bigger reform.