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Globalization and Welfare Compensation: Disentangling the Ties that Bind


  • Burgoon, Brian


Three perspectives dominate debate over the relationship between globalization and the welfare state in industrialized countries: that globalization constrains the welfare that hitherto legitimated openness, that globalization still sparks demands for welfare while opening few forces to flee or fight against it, and that openness has little effect on welfare. A closer look at the “globalization” and “welfare” aggregates on which most scholars focus, however, reveals varying politics connecting different elements of globalization and welfare that may help reconcile this debate. First, compared to general trade openness, low-wage competition may spark stronger pressure to expand and less pressure to constrain welfare compensation. Second, all kinds of openness affect vulnerable and thriving groups in ways that differ across social policies, especially training and relocation benefits compared to benefits for youth dependents and the elderly. Consequently, different faces of openness may spark predictably different politics that spur some aspects of welfare, retrench others, and have little effect on still others. Panel data for eighteen OECD countries supports this argument.

Suggested Citation

  • Burgoon, Brian, 2001. "Globalization and Welfare Compensation: Disentangling the Ties that Bind," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(03), pages 509-551, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:55:y:2001:i:03:p:509-551_44

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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Burgoon & Panicos Demetriades & Geoffrey Underhill, 2008. "Financial Liberalisation and Political Variables: a response to Abiad and Mody," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/30, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    2. Ari-Matti Näätänen, 2015. "The Impact of Economic Globalization on the Employment Policies in 19 Western Democracies from 1985 to 2010. Limited Change or Radical Shift towards Workfare?," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-18, September.
    3. Burgoon, Brian & Demetriades, Panicos & Underhill, Geoffrey R.D., 2012. "Sources and legitimacy of financial liberalization," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 147-161.
    4. Protte, Benjamin, 2012. "Does Fleet Street shape politics? Estimating the Effect of Newspaper Coverage about Globalization on the Support for Unemployment Insurance," Working Papers 12-19, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    5. Vincent Mahler & David Jesuit, 2004. "State Redistribution in Comparative Perspective: A Cross-National Analysis of the Developed Countries," LIS Working papers 392, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    6. Ftergioti, Stamatia, 2017. "Neighbors and Friends: The Effect of Globalization on Party Positions," MPRA Paper 76662, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya & Kelly, Grace, 2017. "Welfare Chauvinism? Refugee Flows and Electoral Support for Populist-right Parties in Industrial Democracies," MPRA Paper 81816, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Italo Colantone & Piero Stanig, 2016. "Global Competition and Brexit," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1644, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    9. Wibbels, Erik, 2006. "Dependency Revisited: International Markets, Business Cycles, and Social Spending in the Developing World," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(02), pages 433-468, April.
    10. Thomas Eichner & Andreas Wagener, 2004. "The Welfare State in a Changing Environment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(3), pages 313-331, May.
    11. Gaston, Noel & Rajaguru, Gulasekaran, 2013. "International migration and the welfare state revisited," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 90-101.
    12. Sijeong Lim & Brian Burgoon, 2017. "Globalization and Support for Unemployment Spending in Asia," Working Papers hal-01670983, HAL.
    13. Paolo Liberati & Antonio Sciala, 2011. "How economic integration affects the vertical structure of the public sector," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 385-402, December.
    14. Castater Eric Graig, 2015. "Unionization and the partisan effect on income inequality," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-40, April.
    15. Noel Gaston & Gulasekaran Rajaguru, 2004. "The Rise (and Fall) of Labour Market Programmes: The Role of Global and Domestic Factors," ISER Discussion Paper 0615, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    16. María Franco Chuaire & Carlos Scartascini & Mariano Tommasi, 2017. "State capacity and the quality of policies. Revisiting the relationship between openness and government size," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 133-156, July.
    17. Schaffer, Lena Maria & Spilker, Gabriele, 2013. "Adding Another Level: Individual Responses to Globalization and Government Welfare Policies," Papers 551, World Trade Institute.
    18. Albert Breton & Heinrich Ursprung, 2002. "Globalisation, Competitive Governments, and Constitutional Choice in Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 657, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Kenneth Scheve & Matthew Slaughter, 2002. "Economic Insecurity and the Globalization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Obinger, Herbert & Starke, Peter, 2014. "Welfare state transformation: Convergence and the rise of the supply side model," TranState Working Papers 180, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    21. Bellefeuille, Gerard, 2005. "The new politics of community-based governance requires a fundamental shift in the nature and character of the administrative bureaucracy," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 491-498, May.

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