One Welfare State for Europe: A Costly Utopia?
AbstractThis paper addresses the question of the social policy harmonization in the European Union. In adopting a common monetary policy, Europe is faced with structural and fiscal concerns, as national growth levels differ. Another possible factor in output shocks are the levels of various social expenditures in the member countries. OECD data on the level of social program expenditures in four EU countries will be compared to fluctuations in GDP growth to identify existing relationships. Significant relationships between independent social expenditure policy and GDP growth shocks suggest structural harmonization as an improvement if Europe is to take full advantage of the common market. However, the effects of expenditure levels may be easier to identify and predict than the dynamic effects of policy change. As the effects of future policy changes are more difficult to ascertain, harmonization may not consistently appear to be a Pareto-optimum solution to asymmetric shocks.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by De Gruyter in its journal Global Economy Journal.
Volume (Year): 4 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
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Web page: http://www.degruyter.com
Other versions of this item:
- D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
- H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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