E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Sustainability and Social Policy"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Krzysztof Hagemejer

Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Sankt Augustin, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +48-692-895-787
Interests: social protection; social policy; sustainable development; pensions
Guest Editor
Dr. Michał Polakowski

Department of Labour and Social Policy, Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poznań, Poland
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +48 787 490 338
Interests: old-age pensions; political economy of welfare state; social policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The purpose of this Special Issue is to discuss the concept of sustainability in relation to social policy. Analysis of sustainable development goals adopted by the UN in 2015, shows clearly that social policies—related to education, health, social protection, housing etc.—are indispensable to achieve sustainable development. However, in discussion about social policies, constituting welfare state, often the concept of sustainability is used in its narrow, financial meaning (linking the characteristics of policies to fiscal capacity of the state) where it serves to question affordability of certain policies and is used as the rationale for retrenchment. Additionally, in the context of sustainable development goals there are debates concerning size of resources which would have to be mobilized within the countries and internationally to achieve the goals.  

We welcome contributions, which address the following questions: 1) What are the interrelations between notions of sustainability (in its different meanings), affordability and adequacy in social policy debates? 2) What are the uses (and abuses) of notion of sustainability in local, national and international social policy debates? 3) What are the conflict lines between notions of sustainability, affordability and adequacy of policies, but also with more general values such as solidarity or equality? What is the role of political will in making different social policies sustainable, affordable and adequate? We encourage submissions from all fields of social policy, but also intersections of welfare state and fiscal policy, environmental policy, demography, etc.

Dr. Krzysztof Hagemejer
Dr. Michał Polakowski

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • adequacy
  • affordability
  • social policy
  • social security
  • social protection
  • health
  • education
  • welfare state
  • public finance

Published Papers (7 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-7
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessing Minimum Wage Policy Implications upon Income Inequalities. The Case of Romania
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2542; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092542
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 27 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
PDF Full-text (1052 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Starting from the consideration that excessive income inequalities could hamper sustainable growth, our paper aims to evaluate the impact of the minimum wage policy upon wage and income distributions. Using the European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) database with national [...] Read more.
Starting from the consideration that excessive income inequalities could hamper sustainable growth, our paper aims to evaluate the impact of the minimum wage policy upon wage and income distributions. Using the European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) database with national representative sample of households, an income distribution analysis was conducted for the case of Romania based on two microsimulation approaches. The first one assumed building a counterfactual income distribution under the hypothesis of no change in minimum wage, while the second one implied a decomposition of the Gini coefficient of income inequalities based on main income determinants, including the minimum wage level and the share of minimum wage earners in the total number of employees. Both approaches pointed to similar findings, indicating a positive effect of the minimum wage on wage inequalities reduction for both genders, although higher for women, as they are more present among lower paid employees. The minimum wage policy can reshape the wage distribution, by enlarging the share of minimum income earners and narrowing the middle. Moreover, the household disposable income becomes less unequal when minimum wage increases, meaning that the income gain spreads over the entire household as most minimum wage earners come from poor households with numerous children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Social Security System on Consumption through Income and Uncertainty: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1828; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071828
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In our paper, we test how the social security system affects citizens’ consumption behavior through narrowing the income gap between residents with different social status and decreasing the uncertainty of income and cost. In the theoretical part, we firstly extend the model of [...] Read more.
In our paper, we test how the social security system affects citizens’ consumption behavior through narrowing the income gap between residents with different social status and decreasing the uncertainty of income and cost. In the theoretical part, we firstly extend the model of Keynes to test the income distribution hypothesis; then, we use the coefficient of absolute risk aversion (CARA) model and a two-period model to test the uncertainty hypothesis. Empirically, (1) we use China’s data (2003–2012) to test the theoretical results, and find that the social security system has a positive effect on consumption by reducing the income gap; (2) according to a 10-year panel data (2003–2012), we find that reducing income uncertainty can increase consumption. Besides, medical insurance and endowment insurance have a positive impact on consumption by reducing citizens’ cost uncertainty, but to different extents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)
Open AccessArticle
Reinterpreting the Connotation of “Sustainability” and the Expansion of Social Policy in China
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1814; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061814
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article examines the interplay between welfare ideas and institutional development and then seeks to explore the ideational background for social policy expansion in China. It focuses on the welfare semantics and narratives that underpin the grand social policy transformation since the millennium. [...] Read more.
This article examines the interplay between welfare ideas and institutional development and then seeks to explore the ideational background for social policy expansion in China. It focuses on the welfare semantics and narratives that underpin the grand social policy transformation since the millennium. The primary research question concerns whether the approach of “sustainability” is related to social policy in China, and, if yes, how and to what extent. Through the analysis of academic literatures and government documents on social policy in China, we explore the new “sustainability approach” to Chinese social policy that is constructed by social experts and international agencies. While the old sustainability approach overwhelmingly links the “sustainable development” of social policy to the issue of financial affordability and the adequacy of benefit levels, the newly interpreted approach highlights the significant meaning of social policy for long-term and inclusive development over the upcoming decades. Against this backdrop, a holistic national plan for socio-economic modernization has incorporated social policy. Beyond economic and ecological objectives, social development with a focus on social policy has become a key pillar of sustainable development in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)
Open AccessArticle
The Market Treadmill Against Sustainable Income of European Farmers: How the CAP Has Struggled with Cochrane’s Curse
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030791
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 28 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
PDF Full-text (1525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Willard Cochrane was the first to introduce the notion that farmers are on a market treadmill, which, in spite of their constant efforts to improve productivity, wears away any profits that might result. Therefore, the essence of the treadmill is that agricultural income [...] Read more.
Willard Cochrane was the first to introduce the notion that farmers are on a market treadmill, which, in spite of their constant efforts to improve productivity, wears away any profits that might result. Therefore, the essence of the treadmill is that agricultural income does not grow in line with the increase in productivity. Although reasons of this phenomenon are economic in nature, it has caused a serious social problem, i.e., the relative deprivation of farmers’ income. Solving this problem is crucial for ensuring sustainable farming in its social dimension. The aim of the article was, firstly, to answer the question to what extent the concept of the market treadmill in agriculture is still valid for European countries; and secondly, to develop a sectoral model of agricultural income that would test whether the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has been successfully struggling with the Cochrane’s treadmill. The authors carried out panel research in a group of 25 countries over the years 1980–2015 in various subperiods. The main conclusion was that the traditionally understood market treadmill has lost significance in Europe, which might be advocated as a long-term value-added aspect of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Social Security and Sustainable Economic Growth: Based on the Perspective of Human Capital
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030662
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s social security expenditure has rapidly grown during the past decade, and concerns about the impact of social security on productivity and sustained economic growth have attracted attention. Based on Chinese provincial panel data over the period 2007–2016, a threshold model analysis found [...] Read more.
China’s social security expenditure has rapidly grown during the past decade, and concerns about the impact of social security on productivity and sustained economic growth have attracted attention. Based on Chinese provincial panel data over the period 2007–2016, a threshold model analysis found that the impact of social security on productivity has a “double threshold” on human capital. Using dynamic panel data models and system General Moment Method estimators also found the existence of this threshold effect: When the human capital level is low or high, social security is favorable for sustained economic growth. However, if the human capital level is at the intermediate level, the function of social security is weak. The main conclusions were still valid after we examined the robustness of our results with several methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
What Makes Pension Reforms Sustainable?
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2891; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082891
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 4 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Policymakers pushing pension reforms have tended to justify changes on the basis that they would make systems more sustainable by lowering future spending on pensions. This is a rather narrow interpretation of sustainability that fails to consider that other fiscal programs may need [...] Read more.
Policymakers pushing pension reforms have tended to justify changes on the basis that they would make systems more sustainable by lowering future spending on pensions. This is a rather narrow interpretation of sustainability that fails to consider that other fiscal programs may need to accommodate the impact of reforms that reduce pension system adequacy. In this light, this article argues that in order to correctly assess the sustainability of pension reforms, one needs to adopt a more holistic framework that encapsulates the interaction between pension system goals and constraints. In a number of countries, reforms focused solely on reducing future spending were followed by reforms that restored generosity. A holistic approach to assess pension sustainability could help limit this cycle of reform and increase trust in pension systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Social Insurance Accounting for a Notional Defined Contribution Scheme Combining Retirement and Long-Term Care Benefits
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2832; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082832
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 9 August 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (695 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper develops a social insurance accounting model for a notional defined contribution (NDC) scheme combining retirement and long-term care (LTC) contingencies. The procedure relies on standard double-entry bookkeeping and enables us to compile a “Swedish” type actuarial balance sheet (ABS) following a [...] Read more.
This paper develops a social insurance accounting model for a notional defined contribution (NDC) scheme combining retirement and long-term care (LTC) contingencies. The procedure relies on standard double-entry bookkeeping and enables us to compile a “Swedish” type actuarial balance sheet (ABS) following a framework equivalent to an open group approach. This methodology is suitable for reporting the system’s solvency status and can show periodical changes in the system’s financial position by means of an income statement. The information underpinning the actuarial valuation is based on events and transactions that are verifiable at the valuation date, without considering expected future trends. The paper also contains an illustrative example to make it easier for policymakers to understand the main advantages and difficulties of our proposal. The policy conclusions stress the need to properly report social insurance benefits to enhance transparency and sustainability and to improve decision-making because it is in the public interest to do so. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Social Policy)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: How the Sharing Economy Undermines the Sustainability of European Welfare States
Author:
Robert Henry Cox
Affiliation:
University of South Carolina
Abstract: 
The sharing economy, also called the gig economy and the collaborative economy, is a new sector of the economy made possible by digital technologies that poses several potential challenges to the sustainability of European Welfare states. Taking a close examination of these challenges, this article finds that the challenges most frequently cited, such as marginalized employment or disenfranchisement from the benefit system of welfare states, are not likely to pose major problems. However, two aspects of the sharing economy pose significant challenges. First, the ability to source economic goods and services across national boundaries offers a fundamental threat to the territorial integrity of European welfare states. Second, the anonymity of the internet, and verification mechanisms established to create trust in the face of digital anonymity, substitute for the organic forms of trust and solidarity that are at the foundation of welfare states.

 

Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top