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SPP 202

Author: Richard Rose, CSPP
Description: While everyone is at risk in tbe systemic transformation of a post-centrally planned economy in transition, some groups are more in need of social protection than others. Given resource constraints, identifying appropriate targets is critical. Yet applying familiar social science definitions of need and risk to a nationwide representative sample of 1000 Romanian adults shows that many potential influences, such as risk of unemployment, old age, or low household income, have only a weak empirical correlation with indicators of need such as the number of economies in which people are active, monetized, nonmonetized and illegal; subjective indicators of need; objective measures of need; or inclinations to enterprise. Moreover, familiar social science indicators of need are also unsuitable for legislative enactment. Given these constraints and the economic problems facing a majority of Romanians, there is a strong prima facie case for relying, in the first instance, upon macroeconomic strategies of boosting national income and thus household income.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland