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Betriebliche Sozialpolitik oder mehr Staat? Das Modell USA revisited

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  • Seeleib-Kaiser, Martin
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    Abstract

    Ein Ausbau der persönlichen Vorsorge und der betrieblichen Sozialpolitik werden in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland häufig als Lösung zur Reduzierung der hohen Lohnnebenkosten und einer Entfesselung der wirtschaftlichen Dynamik betrachtet. Vielen Beobachtern dienen diesbezüglich die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika als Vorbild. Dieses Papier skizziert zunächst in einem historischen Abriß die politisch-kulturellen sowie die institutionellen Bedingungen, die zur hervorragenden Bedeutung betrieblicher Arrangements in der US-amerikanischen Sozialpolitik führten. Darauf folgend wird aufgezeigt, daß seit den 1970er Jahren die Reichweite der betrieblichen Sozialpolitik abgenommen und sie sich qualitativ verändert hat; zeitverzögert kam es zu einem inkrementalen Ausbau verschiedener staatlicher Sozialleistungen (v.a. im Bereich der Krankenversicherung). Ursächlich für diese Entwicklungen war z.T. die zunehmende Globalisierung der US?amerikanischen Wirtschaft. Abschließend wird hervorgehoben, daß eine stärkere Ausrichtung eines Wohlfahrtssystems auf betriebliche Arrangements für Unternehmen nicht notwendigerweise kostengünstiger als eine weitgehend staatliche Sozialpolitik sein muß, jedoch zu erheblichen Nebenwirkungen führen kann. -- An expansion of personal responsibility and occupational social policies (fringe benefits) are often seen as means to reduce the high level of social insurance contributions in the Federal Republic of Germany; concomitantly, such a policy approach would contribute to a higher economic dynamic. In this context, many observers have referred to the United States of America as a model. In a first step, this paper will outline key elements of the political culture as well as the institutional setting, which have historically contributed to the high level of importance of fringe benefits within the US welfare state. In a second step, it will be shown that, since the 1970s, the reach of fringe benefits has declined and that they have undergone a qualitative change, while government programs, especially health care programs, were expanded with a certain time lag in an incremental manner. These changes partially resulted from the intensified globalization of the US economy. Finally, it is stressed that a stronger reliance on fringe benefits within a welfare system is not necessarily less costly for companies, compared to largely publicly provided social policies, but can have significant side effects.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS) in its series Working papers of the ZeS with number 12/2002.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeswps:122002

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    1. Willem Adema & Marcel Einerhand, 1998. "The Growing Role of Private Social Benefits," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 32, OECD Publishing.
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