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Identifying barriers to institutional change in disability services

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  • Ágota Scharle
  • Balázs Váradi
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    Abstract

    In a comparative framework, the paper uses a recently observed shift away from cash transfers and towards the provision of rehabilitation services to identify barriers to welfare policy reform. The analysis relies on the assumption that some European welfare regimes have a similar initial structure but may differ in their speed of adaptation to the challenges posed by external shocks. A detailed comparison of fast moving and slow moving countries allows us to identify some of the barriers to change. Throughout the analysis, we focus on provisions for people with disabilities, where the above shift has been observed, and with much variation across member states. Comparing policy developments in Finland, Norway, and Sweden in the past twenty years we identify fiscal constraints, historical commitment to equal rights, policy making capacity, and centralisation as important drivers of change. While some of these factors are beyond the control of policy makers, some can be strengthened by governments wishing to improve the long term performance of the welfare system.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by WWWforEurope in its series WWWforEurope Working Papers series with number 41.

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    Length: 37
    Date of creation: Sep 2013
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published
    Handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2013:m:9:d:0:i:41

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    Postal: WWWforEurope Project Office Austrian Institute of Economic Research Arsenal Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna
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    Related research

    Keywords: Academic research; challenges for welfare system; good governance; institutional reforms; labour markets; multi-level governance; policy options; political economy of policy reform; social development; social innovation; welfare reform; welfare state;

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    References

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    1. Barbara Vis, 2011. "Prospect Theory and Political Decision Making," Political Studies Review, Political Studies Association, vol. 9(3), pages 334-343, 09.
    2. Alesina, A. & Drazen, A., 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," Papers 6-91, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    3. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2003. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Staff General Research Papers 10229, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    7. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael Porta & Florencio C. Lopez-De-Silanes, 2004. "The Regulation of Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1339-1382, November.
    8. Kuhnle, Stein, 2000. "The Nordic welfare state in a European context: dealing with new economic and ideological challenges in the 1990s," European Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 379-398, July.
    9. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
    10. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
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