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Patterns of Welfare State Indicators in the EU: Is there Convergence?

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  • KOEN CAMINADA
  • KEES GOUDSWAARD
  • OLAF VAN VLIET

Abstract

Convergence of social protection objectives and policies in Member States is an explicit objective of the EU. Earlier research has shown that there has indeed been a tendency of convergence of social protection levels over the last decades. However, comparative studies frequently use indicators which may not be representative as measures of the welfare state. In this article we have done several convergence tests with the most recent data, using a variety of indicators of social protection: social expenditures, both at the macro and at the programme level, replacement rates of unemployment and social assistance benefits and poverty indicators. Together, these indicators provide a broader picture of the evolution of social protection. Our results are less clear cut than earlier findings. We still find convergence of social expenditure in EU countries over a longer period. However, this trend seems to have stagnated in recent years. The evidence is mixed for the other indicators. Replacement rates of unemployment benefits converged to a higher level, but social assistance benefits did not. Poverty rates and poverty gaps have converged since the mid-1980s, but the levels of both indicators have developed in the opposite direction. Copyright (c) 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard & Olaf Van Vliet, 2010. "Patterns of Welfare State Indicators in the EU: Is there Convergence?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 529-556, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jcmkts:v:48:y:2010:i::p:529-556
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    Cited by:

    1. Natascha Van Mechelen & Sarah Marchal, 2013. "Trends and convergence of Europe’s minimum income schemes," ImPRovE Working Papers 13/11, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    2. Wang, Jinxian & Van Vliet, Olaf, 2014. "Social assistance and minimum income benefits: Benefit levels, replacement rates and policies across 33 countries, 1990-2009," MPRA Paper 66464, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Tim Goedemé & Diego Collado, 2016. "The EU Convergence Machine at Work. To the Benefit of the EU's Poorest Citizens?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(5), pages 1142-1158, September.
    4. Olivier Pintelon, 2012. "Welfare State Decommodification: Concepts, Operationalizations and Long-term Trends," Working Papers 1210, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    5. Kristina Petrova, 2016. "Stability and Growth Pact Reform and Public Expenditure Structure in the European Union Member States," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 1, pages 33-47, March.
    6. Bea Cantillon & Natascha Van Mechelen & Olivier Pintelon & Aaron Van den Heede, 2012. "Household Work Intensity and the Adequacy of Social Protection in the EU," Working Papers 1204, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    7. Maria Alessandra Antonelli & Valeria De Bonis, 2016. "Clustering European Welfare Systems through a Performance Index," Public Finance Research Papers 18, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DIGEF, Sapienza University of Rome.
    8. Marta Simões & Adelaide Duarte & João Sousa Andrade, 2014. "Assessing the Impact of the Welfare State on Economic Growth: A Survey of Recent Developments," GEMF Working Papers 2014-20, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    9. M. Marković & S. Zdravković & M. Mitrović & A. Radojičić, 2016. "An Iterative Multivariate Post Hoc I-Distance Approach in Evaluating OECD Better Life Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 1-19, March.
    10. Francesco Figari & Matsaganis, M. & Holly Sutherland, 2011. "GINI DP 2: Are European Social Safety Nets Tight Enough? Coverage and adequacy of minimum income schemes in 14 EU countries," GINI Discussion Papers 2, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    11. Kosta Josifidis & John Hall & Valérie Berenger & Novica Supić, 2013. "Eastern Migrations vs Western Welfare States – (Un)Biased Fears," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(3), pages 323-345, May.
    12. Nicky Rogge, 2017. "Measuring the impact of the economic crisis on the level of change in EU social inclusion: period 2005–2012," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 103-116, April.
    13. Van Vliet, Olaf & Nijboer, Henk, 2012. "Flexicurity in the European Union: flexibility for outsiders, security for insiders," MPRA Paper 37012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Jörg Paetzold & Olaf Van Vliet, 2014. "EU Co-Ordination and the Convergence of Domestic Unemployment Protection Schemes," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(5), pages 1070-1089, September.
    15. Maria Alessandra Antonelli & Valeria De Bonis, 2015. "Dynamics in an olg model with non-separable preferences," Public Finance Research Papers 16, Istituto di Economia e Finanza, DIGEF, Sapienza University of Rome.
    16. Paetzold, Jörg, 2012. "The Convergence of Welfare State Indicators in Europe: Evidence from Panel Data," Working Papers in Economics 2012-4, University of Salzburg.
    17. Frank Vandenbroucke & Koen Vleminckx, 2011. "Disappointing poverty trends : is the social investment state to blame? An exercise in soul-searching for policy-makers," Working Papers 1101, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    18. repec:spr:soinre:v:135:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1504-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Marx, Ive & Nolan, Brian & Olivera, Javier, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Athanasios Athanasenas & Xanthippi Chapsa & Athanasios Michailidis, 2015. "Investigating Social Protection Convergence in the EU-15: A Panel Data Analysis," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 79-96.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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