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Key factors and recommendations to combat social exclusion

11th National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Public economics

Senior Researcher : María Teresa Blázquez Cuesta

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Research Centre or Institution : Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


According to Eurostat data, in 2010 at least 115 million citizens of the European Union, equivalent to 23.4% of the population, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Social exclusion has become a changing phenomenon which needs to be studied from a more individualised perspective, because, though it is related to the exposure to adverse economic conditions, it can also be the result of individual practices related to certain family, cultural or social structures. The identification of the groups which show the greatest risk of social exclusion is therefore the first step to be able to establish the most appropriate public policies to tackle the problem. However, we cannot leave aside the macro-economic approach when it comes to tackling this phenomenon with a marked multi-dimensional character. The macro-economic factors characterising a country or region can help to explain, at least partially, the observed differences in terms of the risk of social exclusion. Finally, and taking as the basis the results from both the micro-economic and macro-economic analyses, the present project aims to provide a series of normative criteria that could be helpful when it comes to designing the most adequate fiscal measures to reduce the risk of social exclusion. As indicated in the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the social policies, the programmes and the services implemented by governments become the fundamental parts of a project for a close-knit society. However, the new and increasingly diverse forms of precariousness and social, political and economic marginalisation require a more renewed formulation of the measures aimed at reducing the problem of social exclusion. Thus, this project will conclude with some notes on possible proposals or recommendations that will enable governments to target more appropriately the fight against social exclusion.

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