1,115,608 research outputs found

    Social Norms and Welfare State Dynamics

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    The paper analyses the interaction between economic incentives and work norms in the context of social insurance. If the work norm is endogenous in the sense that it is weaker when the population share of beneficiaries is higher, then voters will choose less generous bene.ts than otherwise. We also discuss welfare-state dynamics when there is a time lag in the adjustment of the norm in response to changes in this population share, and show how a temporary shift in the unemployment rate may cause persistence in the number of beneficiaries.welfare state, social norms, social insurance

    An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamics of the Welfare State: The Case of Benefit Morale

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    Does the supply of a welfare state create its own demand? Many economic scholars studying welfare arrangements refer to Say's law and insinuate a self-destructive welfare state. However, little is known about the empirical validity of these assumptions and hypotheses. We study the dynamic effect of different welfare arrangements on benefit fraud. In particular, we analyze the impact of the welfare state on the respective social norm, i.e. benefit morale. It turns out that a high level of public social expenditures and a high unemployment rate are associated with a small positive (or no) immediate impact on benefit morale, which however is crowded out by adverse medium and long run effects.benefit morale, benefit fraud, social norms, welfare state

    Welfare State Regress in Western Europe: Politics, Institutions, Globalization and Europeanization

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    In interdisciplinary research on welfare state regress in Western Europe, interest has focused on the causes and extent of retrenchment. Causal debates have concerned the role of globalization, post-industrialism, European integration, and partisan politics. The "new politics" perspective views pressures towards retrenchment as basically generated by post-industrial changes causing government budget deficits and permanent austerity, developments pressing all governments to attempt to cut welfare state programs. These attempts are resisted by powerful interest groups consisting of welfare state benefit recipients, and therefore retrenchment is likely to be a limited phenomenon. Such recipient-based interest groups generated by welfare states are seen as largely replacing left parties and unions once driving welfare state expansion, thus marginalizing the role of class-related politics in the retrenchment process. Conclusions pointing to only limited retrenchment and a minor role for partisan politics have been criticized because of the non-theoretical definition of the welfare state and because of the concentration on social expenditures. The power resources approach, focusing on the role of distributive conflicts between major interest groups for welfare states development, widens the theoretical definition of the welfare state to include full employment as well as social transfers and expenditures. In Western Europe full employment was one of the cornerstones of the postwar "Keynesian welfare state," entailing a social contract which markedly differed from the one in the United States. The return of mass unemployment in Europe since the mid-1970s constitutes a major welfare state regress, and at the same time generates government budget deficits and austerity. Analyses based on citizenship rights in social insurance programs indicate major retrenchment in some West European countries, with political parties and welfare state institutions in significant roles. In this perspective the return of mass unemployment and cuts in social rights appear as a reworking of the European post-war social contract. The widening of the scope of welfare state indicates that trans-nationalization may have differing effect on its different aspects.welfare state retrenchment; globalization; European Union; partisan politics; unemployment.

    An Essay on Welfare State Dynamics

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    The expansion of welfare-state arrangements is seen as the result of dynamic interaction between market behaviour and political behaviour, often with considerable time lags, sometimes generating either virtuous or vicious circles. Such interaction may also involve induced (endogenous) changes in social norms and political preferences. Moreover, the internationalisation process not only limits the ability of national governments to redistribute income; they also increase the political demands for international mobility of welfare-state benefits and social services. I also discuss the dynamics of reforms and retreats of welfare-state arrangements.welfare state, welfare-state dynamics, political equilibrium, social norms

    An Essay on Welfare State Dynamics

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    The expansion of welfare-state arrangements is seen as the result of dynamic interaction between market behaviour and political behaviour, often with considerable time lags, sometimes generating either virtuous or vicious circles. Such interaction may also involve induced (endogenous) changes in social norms and political pre­ferences. Moreover, the internationalisation process not only limits the ability of national governments to redistribute income; they also increase the political demands for international mobility of welfare-state benefits and social services. I also discuss the dynamics of reforms and retreats of welfare-state arrangements.Welfare State; Welfare-State Dynamics; Political Equilibrium; Social Norms

    An Essay on Welfare State Dynamics

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    The expansion of welfare-state arrangements is seen as the result of dynamic interaction between market behaviour and political behaviour, often with considerable time lags, sometimes generating either virtuous or vicious circles. Such interaction may also involve induced (endogenous) changes in social norms and political preferences. Moreover, the internationalisation process not only limits the ability of national governments to redistribute income; they also increase the political demands for international mobility of welfare-state benefits and social services. I also discuss the dynamics of reforms and retreats of welfare-state arrangements.welfare state; welfare-state dynamics; political equilibrium; social norms

    Improving the Performance of the European Social Model - The Welfare State over the Life Cycle

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    The achievements of social-welfare arrangements in Western Europe are well known: considerable income security, relatively little poverty and, in some countries, ample supply of social services. But there are also well-known weaknesses and hence considerable scope for improvement. Three types of weaknesses are considered in this paper: social-welfare arrangements are often not financially robust to shocks; individuals make undesirable behavioural adjustments in response to welfare-state arrangements and their financing; and social-welfare arrangements are often poorly adapted to recent changes in socio-economic conditions and preferences of individuals. I discuss these weaknesses, and alternative methods to mitigate them, in the context of various types of welfare-state arrangements that the individual may encounter over the life cycle.social policies; welfare state; labour market; family structure; preferences

    Inattentive Voters and Welfare-State Persistence

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    Welfare-state measures often tend to persist even when they seem to have become suboptimal due to changes in the economic environment. This paper proposes an information-based explanation for the persistence of the welfare state. I present a structural model where rationally inattentive voters decide upon implementations and removals of social insurance. In this model, welfare-state persistence arises from disincentive effects of social insurance on attentiveness. The welfare state crowds out private financial precautions and with it agents‘ attentiveness to changes in economic fundamentals. When welfare-state arrangements are pronounced, agents realize changes in economic fundamentals later and reforms have considerable delays.Welfare state; voting; imperfect information

    Improving the Performance of the European Social Model - The Welfare State over the Life Cycle

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    The achievements of social-welfare arrangements in Western Europe are well known: considerable income security, relatively little poverty and, in some countries, ample supply of social services. But there are also well-known weaknesses and hence considerable scope for improvement. Three types of weaknesses are considered in this paper: social-welfare arrangements are often not financially robust to shocks; individuals make undesirable behavioural adjustments in response to welfare-state arrangements and their financing; and social-welfare arrangements are often poorly adapted to recent changes in socio-economic conditions and preferences of individuals. I discuss these weaknesses, and alternative methods to mitigate them, in the context of various types of welfare-state arrangements that the individual may encounter over the life cycle.Social Policies; Welfare State; Labour Market; Family Structure; Preferences

    Increases in Risk and the Welfare State

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    According to many observers, the world is currently getting riskier along many of its dimensions. In this paper we analyse how the welfare state, i.e., social insurance that works through redistributive taxation, should deal with this trend. We distinguish between risks that can be insured by the welfare state and such than cannot (background risks). Insurable risks can be reduced either by individual self-insurance or, through pooling, by social insurance. Both ways are costly in terms of income foregone. We show: (i) Self-insurance will be higher the more costly is the welfare state and the larger are background or insured risks. (ii) Full risk coverage by the welfare state can only be optimal in a costless welfare state. (iii) The optimal size of the welfare state is larger the higher are the risks that it cannot insure. The impact of the size of risks that can be insured is, however, unclear.welfare state, background risks, social insurance
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