Thursday, 27 December 2012

Welfare regimes and welfare state outcomes in Europe

an article by Andreas Kammer (University of Cologne, Germany), Judith Niehues (Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW), Germany) and Andreas Peichl (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany) published in Journal of European Social Policy Volume 22 Number 5 (December 2012)


Welfare state typologies are generally based on the institutional design of welfare policies.

In this paper we analyse whether such typologies also persist when they are applied to effective redistributive outcomes of welfare states’ tax and transfer policies.

In contrast to the widespread use of macro indicators, our empirical analysis relies on internationally comparable microdata in order to account for the distribution of resources across households. We perform a hierarchical cluster analysis and check whether the classical typology for Western European welfare states reproduces the typical patterns when it comes to effective economic outcomes.

We find that the established welfare regimes not only differ in their welfare state institutions as is known, but also in their economic outcomes. In particular, we identify the social-democratic, conservative, liberal and southern welfare regimes. Belgium and the Netherlands emerge as hybrid cases lying between the social-democratic and conservative model.

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