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Social Europe: Dramatic Visions and Real Complexity

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  • Boeri, Tito

Abstract

Many social policy reforms have been carried out in Europe in the last fifteen years. Most of these reforms are marginal. Often they are mutually inconsistent. Yet, something is changing in the European social policy landscape and not in the direction implied by the presence of a 'race to the bottom' in social welfare provision. There are no signs of convergence of social policy models across Europe. Further reforms will have to be respectful of the initial conditions, that is, they necessarily have to adapt to the various Social Europes. By imposing the same pattern of reforms to the different European social policy models there is a high risk of jeopardizing reform efforts altogether. An additional reason for not imposing a single European social policy model is that social policy reforms need to be comprehensive, hence they should necessarily work on country-specific institutional clusters. All this makes a strong case for maintaining EU-level decision-making on social policy reforms under unanimity rule. Majority voting on these issues is likely to involve strong pressures to harmonize institutions, while some countries will always be in a minority. One country may receive the worst of each welfare system and make the furthering and broadening of the scope of reforms even more difficult.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2371.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2371

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Related research

Keywords: Monetary Union; Race To The Bottom; Social Europe;

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References

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  1. Castellino, Onorato, 1995. "Redistribution between and within generations in the Italian social security system," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 317-327, December.
  2. Burda, Michael C., 1999. "European labor markets and the Euro: How much flexibility do we really need?," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,41, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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  6. repec:fth:iniesr:500 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Some Evidence," Discussion Paper 1998-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2001. "What Does the European Union Do?," NBER Working Papers 8647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fehn, Rainer, 2001. "Institutioneller Wettbewerb und soziale Sicherungssysteme in Europa," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge 45, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbes. Wirtschaftsordnung und Sozialpolitik.
  3. Berthold, Norbert & Neumann, Michael, 2006. "Europas Sozialstaaten im Schatten der Globalisierung," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge 88, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbes. Wirtschaftsordnung und Sozialpolitik.
  4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," NBER Working Papers 8200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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