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Europe(s) sociales, convergence et compétition


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  • Tito Boeri
  • Simona Baldi


Social policy is often considered the key element of European identity. Should it however be one for all? A common taxonomy refer to four distinct social Europe(s): Nordic, Anglo-Saxon, Continental and Mediterranean. It has lost some of its capacity to explain cross-country differences in the social policy mix. There is a mild convergence in levels, in the size of social Europes, while countries are still different in tem of composition of social policy expenditure. Activism in reforming social policy institutions increased since 1996, notably in the convergence of EMU. European harmonisation in social policy institutions can not be justified by the presence of economies of scale or of spillovers across jurisdictions. Performances of social welfare system appear better in the small EU countries. So, the EU-level decisions making should not impose a harmonisation of the different social Europe but promote exchanges of information and let the different social systems compete.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Dalloz in its journal Revue d'économie politique.

Volume (Year): Volume 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 705-719

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Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_156_0705

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Keywords: Europe; social policies; welfare; employment; coordination;


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