Changing Social Policies for Low-Income Families and Less-Skilled Workers in the EU and the U.S.

Download printable agenda

Jointly sponsored by the National Poverty Center, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan and the
European Union Center, University of Michigan


This conference will address changes in social and labor market policies in Europe and the United States since the 1990s. It will provide an opportunity for researchers and policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic to inform each other of these policy changes and to present new research that analyzes the effects of these changes in various countries.


Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held in the Kuenzel Room, Michigan Union, 530 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI

Thursday, April 7

9:30 Continental Breakfast

10:00 Welcome
Rebecca Blank, Co-Director, National Poverty Center, University of Michigan. Ken Kollman, Director, European Union Center, University of Michigan

10:10-11:00 Overview
"Contribution to the Analysis of Social Policy in Europe"
Ferran Brunet, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and
Mar López Rancaño, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. Additional comments: Tim Smeeding, Syracuse University & Ken Kollman, University of Michigan.

11:00-12:30 Policies that Affect Child Poverty
"Tackling Child Poverty in the UK: The Impact on Expenditures of Low-Income Families with Children" Paul Gregg, University of Bristol, Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University, and Elizabeth Washbrook, University of Bristol. "Child poverty, labor markets and public policies across industrialized countries" Bruce Bradbury, University of New South Wales, and Markus Jäntti, Åbo Akademi University. Discussant: Miles Corak, Family and Labour Studies, Statistics Canada.

12:30-2:00 Lunch [Anderson Room, Michigan Union]

2:00-3:30 Wage Subsidies
"Did Working Families’ Tax Credit work? Analysing the impact of
in-work support on labour supply and programme participation" (Please contact author to request the paper.) Mike Brewer, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Alan Duncan, IFS and University of Nottingham, Andrew Shephard, Institute for Fiscal Studies, and María José Suárez, University of Oviedo. "In-work Policies in Europe: Killing two birds with one stone?" Olivier Bargain, IZA and DELTA; Kristian Orsini, University of Leuven. Discussant: Hilary Hoynes, UC-Davis.

4:00-5:30 Keynote address [Pendleton Room, Michigan Union]
"European Union Social Policy in a Global Context." Sir Tony Atkinson , Warden, Nuffield College, Oxford. (CitiGroup Lecture Series.)
Video: 1:15:40

5:30 – 6:30 Reception (CitiGroup Lecture Series) [Wolverine Room, Michigan Union]

7:00 Dinner for speakers and discussants (by invitation) [Bella Ciao, 118 W. Liberty St. Ann Arbor, MI]

Friday, April 8

8:15 Continental Breakfast

8:45-10:15 Unemployment and employment policies
Unemployment Duration and the Interactions Between Unemployment Insurance and Social Assistance.” Michele Pellizzari, IGIER-Bocconi University.“Job Subsidies and Cuts in Employers’ Social Security Contributions: The Verdict of Empirical Evaluation Studies.” Ive Marx, University of Antwerp
Discussant: Jenny Hunt, McGill University.

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Pensions and Housing
Part-time Pensions and Part-time Work in Sweden.” Eskil Wadensjö, Stockholm University. “Are Housing Benefits an Efficient Way to Redistribute Income? Evidence From a Natural Experiment in France.” Gabrelle Fack, ENS-EHESS. Discussant: Robert Willis, University of Michigan.

12:15-1:30 Lunch [Anderson Room, Michigan Union]

1:30-3:00 Welfare Reform Efforts
Welfare Reform, Returns to Experience, and Wages
Jeffrey Grogger, University of Chicago. “The Latin Model of Welfare: Do ‘Insertion Contracts’ Reduce Welfare Recidivism?” Luis Ayala, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos/Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, and Magdalena Rodríguez, Instituto de Estudios Fiscales. Discussant: Robert Walker, University of Nottingham.

3:00-4:00 Comments on comparative patterns in US/EU social policy changes, and on themes/issues raised in the conference, followed by general discussion. Participants: Timothy Smeeding, Syracuse University. William Clark, University of Michigan

4:00 Adjourn