The welfare state evolves: German Knappschaften, 1854 - 1923
AbstractThis paper reviews the German miners' model of mutual insurance from its introduction in 1854 to its basic reformation in 1923. Its core feature was the provision of cash benefits for compensation of income losses due to temporary sickness and permanent invalidity or death of the bread-winner. The carriers of the insurance scheme, the Knappschaften, date back to medieval times, and the Knappschaft is still present today as the second pillar of the German statutory old-age insurance. This paper aims to establish the Knappschaft insurance's main characteristics in the period under consideration. These include, for example, compulsory membership, shared financing between employed miners and entrepreneurs, selfmanagement, financing based on earnings-related social insurance contributions, a strong emphasis of the insurance principle, and application of the pay-as-you-go mechanism. The organisational analysis is complemented quantitatively, on the one hand, by evidence on increasing generosity and, on the other hand, evidence on increasing financial distress substantiating the shadow side of a maturing pay-as-you-go based scheme. In particular, Knappschaften experienced all trends we commonly associate with today's systems in the second half of the 20th century as early as in the 19th century, even before the Bismarckian insurance was installed from 1883 on: Increasing social security spending, rising pensioners-tocontributors ratios, concentration and pressure on finances forcing Knappschaften to adjust their fiscal policy according to the mechanics of pay-as-you-go. --
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) in its series FZID Discussion Papers with number 16-2010.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Bismarck; mining; pay-as-you-go; social security; welfare state;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
- N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-10 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Guinnane, Timothy W. & Streb, Jochen, 2011.
"Moral Hazard in a Mutual Health Insurance System: German Knappschaften, 1867–1914,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(01), pages 70-104, March.
- Guinnane, Timothy & Streb, Jochen, 2009. "Moral Hazard in a Mutual Health-Insurance System: German Knappschaften, 1867-1914," Working Papers 70, Yale University, Department of Economics.
- Timothy W. Guinnane & Jochen Streb, 2009. "Moral hazard in a mutual health-insurance system: German Knappschaften, 1867-1914," Working Papers 978, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Timothy W. Guinnane & Jochen Streb, 2010. "Moral Hazard in a Mutual Health-Insurance System: German Knappschaften, 1867–1914," Ruhr Economic Papers 0163, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
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