Active Social Insurance
By Knut Røed
IZA Journal of Labor Policy 2012, 1:8
The paper argues that a comprehensive activation strategy is called for – in both unemployment and disability insurance – to minimize the conflict between income insurance and work incentives and to prevent the economic crisis from causing a long-lasting decline in labor force participation. A review of recent empirical evidence, particularly from the Scandinavian countries, indicates that “mild” activation requirements effectively counteract moral hazard problems in social insurance. The paper also argues that the distinction between unemployment and disability is blurred, and that both temporary and permanent disability insurance programs should be designed to encourage and support the use of remaining (partial) work capacity.