Social protection performance in the European Union: comparison and convergence
In this paper we use data on five social inclusion indicators (poverty, inequality, unemployment, education and health) to assess the performance of 15 European welfare states (EU15) over a ten-year period from 1995 to 2004. Aggregate measures of performance are obtained using index number methods similar to those employed in the construction of the widely used Human Development Index (HDI). These are compared with alternative measures derived from data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods. The influence of methodology choice and the assumptions made in scaling indicators upon the results obtained is illustrated and discussed. We also analyse the evolution of performance over time, finding evidence of some convergence in performance and no sign of social dumping.
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