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Patterns of Welfare State Indicators in the EU: Is there Convergence?

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  • KOEN CAMINADA
  • KEES GOUDSWAARD
  • OLAF VAN VLIET

Abstract

Convergence of social protection objectives and policies in Member States is an explicit objective of the EU. Earlier research has shown that there has indeed been a tendency of convergence of social protection levels over the last decades. However, comparative studies frequently use indicators which may not be representative as measures of the welfare state. In this article we have done several convergence tests with the most recent data, using a variety of indicators of social protection: social expenditures, both at the macro and at the programme level, replacement rates of unemployment and social assistance benefits and poverty indicators. Together, these indicators provide a broader picture of the evolution of social protection. Our results are less clear cut than earlier findings. We still find convergence of social expenditure in EU countries over a longer period. However, this trend seems to have stagnated in recent years. The evidence is mixed for the other indicators. Replacement rates of unemployment benefits converged to a higher level, but social assistance benefits did not. Poverty rates and poverty gaps have converged since the mid-1980s, but the levels of both indicators have developed in the opposite direction. Copyright (c) 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.

Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): (06)
Pages: 529-556

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:48:y:2010:i::p:529-556

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Van Vliet, Olaf & Nijboer, Henk, 2012. "Flexicurity in the European Union: flexibility for outsiders, security for insiders," MPRA Paper 37012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Kosta Josifidis & John Hall & Valérie Berenger & Novica Supić, 2013. "Eastern Migrations vs Western Welfare States – (Un)Biased Fears," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(3), pages 323-345, May.
  3. Paetzold, Jörg, 2012. "The Convergence of Welfare State Indicators in Europe: Evidence from Panel Data," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2012-4, University of Salzburg.
  4. Frank Vandenbroucke & Koen Vleminckx, 2011. "Disappointing poverty trends : is the social investment state to blame? An exercise in soul-searching for policy-makers," Working Papers 1101, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  5. Francesco Figari & Matsaganis, M. & Holly Sutherland, 2011. "GINI DP 2: Are European Social Safety Nets Tight Enough? Coverage and adequacy of minimum income schemes in 14 EU countries," GINI Discussion Papers 2, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  6. Olivier Pintelon, 2012. "Welfare State Decommodification: Concepts, Operationalizations and Long-term Trends," Working Papers 1210, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  7. Marx, Ive & Nolan, Brian & Olivera, Javier, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bea Cantillon & Natascha Van Mechelen & Olivier Pintelon & Aaron Van den Heede, 2012. "Household Work Intensity and the Adequacy of Social Protection in the EU," Working Papers 1204, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  9. Natascha Van Mechelen & Sarah Marchal, 2013. "Trends and convergence of Europe’s minimum income schemes," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/11, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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