Presentation on theme: "Learning from Abroad? Policy transfer – The cases of Germany and Austria 11 th LPR Network Seminar, Tallinn, 18-19 September 2014 Dr. Sonja Blum, Austrian."— Presentation transcript:
Learning from Abroad? Policy transfer – The cases of Germany and Austria 11 th LPR Network Seminar, Tallinn, September 2014 Dr. Sonja Blum, Austrian Institute for Family Studies at the University of Vienna Tel.: (+43)
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September „Learning from abroad“ – Analytical framework
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September Recently in Austria… Symposium “Challenges of a modern, sustainable family policy” Explicit aim to learn from Denmark on the way of making Austria “most family-friendly country in Europe” Jesper Zwisler announced to take idea of Austrian FamilyApp “home to his minister” Zwisler: “We cannot ‘learn’ from each other, we can only be inspired.” Sophie Karmasin, Austrian family minister; Jesper Zwisler, Permanent Secretary from Denmark
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September On a more general level in European family policies… Political focus on international comparison (“learning from abroad”) e.g. discussion on “efficiency” of family policies Politicians, researchers, etc. engaged in spreading “best practices” e.g. “Partner months” in parental leave policies Increased activity of the EU in the soft-law-area (OMC) E.g. Barcelona childcare targets What are the conditions for, and how to study such “learning from abroad”? Horizontal Vertical
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September Theoretical framework: Policy transfers Policy transfer is a… „…process in which knowledge about policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in one political setting (past or present) is used in the development of“ these elements in another political setting (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000) Theoretical framework focusing on: How? – Transfer mechanisms Who? – Actors What? – Objects Which results? – Output degrees
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September Mechanisms and outputs of policy transfers (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2000) Mechanisms Continuum from “rational” lesson-drawing to coercion Most of the time: “voluntary”, but with perceived necessity (e.g. due to problem pressure, social norms, etc.) Output degrees Inspiration, i.e. impulse for a policy change Combination, i.e. combining elements from different policies Emulation, i.e. transfer of the ideas behind a policy Copying, i.e. direct, complete transfer of a policy (very rare!)
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September The cases of Germany and Austria
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September Methods: Case selection and period of investigation (Blum 2014, 2012) Period of investigation: 30 qualitative, semi-structured expert interviews; qualitative content analysis Case selection: areas of parental leave and public childcare = 8 reform cases Parental leave Germany: Parental leave reforms 2001, 2007 Austria: Childcare benefit reforms 2002, 2008, 2010 Public childcare Germany: Childcare expansion (2005, 2008) Austria: Childcare expansion (2008)
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September January 2007 Income replacement Part-time employment up to 30 hours allowed for parental benefit recipients; then 67% of the lost income are paid up to an income ceiling of € 2,700 For formerly non-employed parents, there is a minimum sum of € 300 (but abolished for social assistance recipients in 2010) months ca. 67% max.€ 1,800 1 January 1986 childcare benefit (Erziehungsgeld) Parental benefit At introduction: 10 months flat-rate benefit (DM 600) 1988: extension to 12 months, then successive extension to 24 months 2001: Introduction of a second variant 24 months standard amount € months budget amount € 450 The parental benefit in Germany (2007)
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September The parental benefit in Germany (2007) Role model of the Nordic countries (in particular: Sweden) High exchange on the ministerial and parliamentary levels in the context of the parental benefit reform “We had an international exchange in the sense that, also in the years prior to the introduction of the parental benefit, we always looked at what regulations exist abroad. There were also trips of the ministry top level to Scandinavia and so on. (…) It is obvious that you have to find your own regulation. But what we did, indeed, is to look at some detailed regulations. For example, what are the eligibility criteria? How long are the partner months in Sweden?” (Interview 19) Steering effect and high output degree (emulation)
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September The income-dependent childcare benefit (KBG) in Austria (2010) 1 January January January 2010 Flat-rate variants (Additional earnings limit of € 16,200 annually – or individualized additional earnings limit of 60% of the income in the calendar year before birth of the child) months ca. € months ca. € months ca. € months ca. € months ca. 80% max.€ Income-dependent variant (Additional earnings limit of € 6,100)
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September Income-dependent childcare benefit (KBG) in Austria (2010) “Spontaneous” policy transfer from Germany in the run-up to the elections High exchange on the ministerial level “The German family minister von der Leyen was even invited by the ÖVP (Austrian People’s Party) in the run-up to the 2008 elections. She gave a speech on the parental benefit, its implementation and effects – and then the ÖVP jumped on the bandwagon. (Interview 5) Steering effect, output degree of ‘combination’
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September Summary: Role of policy transfers in the reform processes ReformEffectsSourceObject(s)Output degree Parental leave (2001) TAG (2005) Parental benefit (2007) KiföG (2008) Strongly intensifying Weakly intensifying steering EU Sweden (+ EU) EU policy ideas, policy combination inspiration emulation KBG (2002) KBG (2008) KBG (2010) 15a (2008) none steering Strongly intensifying - Germany(+ EU) EU (+ Germany) - policy ideas, policy - combination inspiration Source: Own table on the basis of the case studies Decisive explanatory factor for family policy reforms!
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September Conclusions: What is needed for policy transfers / learning from abroad? Knowledge on and spreading of good practices In practice, however, actual transfer contingent on much more than this, e.g.: Beneficial transfer conditions (e.g. here: similar institutional and cultural background, geographical closeness, shared language and media) Support of national actors and chance to insert/push idea within concrete policy processes (“windows of opportunity”) Adaptation to national situation and respective output degree (e.g. inspiration, whereas direct copying very unlikely)
Thank you for your attention!
LPR Workshop Tallinn | September References Blum, S. (2014): No need to reinvent the wheel: Family policy transfers in Germany and Austria. Policy Studies, 35 (4), Blum, S. (2012): Familienpolitik als Reformprozess. Deutschland und Österreich im Vergleich. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Dolowitz, D.P. and Marsh, D. (2000): Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making. Governance, 13 (1), 5-24.