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Social Protection Convergence in the European Union: Impact of Maastricht Treaty


  • Nicole Attia

    () (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CEMAFI, France)

  • Valérie Berenger

    () (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, CEMAFI, France)


The main goal of this paper is to test the convergence of social protection expenditures and, more specifically, to examine the incidence of the Maastricht Treaty on this process. We tested several hypotheses of convergence on 12 EU Member States between 1980 and 2000, by considering two indicators: social protection expenditure as percentage of GDP and social protection expenditure per capita. The cross sectional tests of ? and ??convergence show that, for the two indicators, these two assumptions are checked for the whole of the period. On the other hand, the period division in two subperiods intended to locate the Maastricht effect indicates a rupture since 1993. Then, panel data estimations of conditional ?-convergence confirm the existence of a process of conditional convergence and reveal the significant role of the debt criterion of Maastricht. The coexistence of absolute and conditional ?-convergence is not incompatible. It evokes the possible idea of a European Social Snake rather than of a single Social Model.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicole Attia & Valérie Berenger, 2007. "Social Protection Convergence in the European Union: Impact of Maastricht Treaty," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 54(4), pages 469-487, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:voj:journl:v:54:y:2007:i:4:p:469-487

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    Cited by:

    1. Miroslav Verbič & Rok Spruk, 2014. "Aging Population and Public Pensions: Theory and Macroeconometric Evidence," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(3), pages 289-316, June.
    2. Cosmin Enache, 2013. "Family and Childcare Support Public Expenditures and Short-Term Fertility Dynamics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(3), pages 347-364, May.
    3. Álvarez Ayuso, Inmaculada & De Lucas Santos, Sonia & Delgado Rodríguez, Mª Jesús, 2009. "Convergencia en protección social en la Unión Europea (1980-2001)/Convergence and Social Protection in EU (1980-2001)," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 27, pages 663-678, Diciembre.
    4. Felipa de Mello-Sampayo & Sofia de Sousa-Vale, 2014. "Financing Health Care Expenditure in the OECD Countries: Evidence from a Heterogeneous, Cross-Sectional Dependent Panel," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(2), pages 207-225, March.
    5. 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


    Welfare-state; Social protection; Convergence; European Union; Panel data estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs


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