The French welfare : an institutional and historical analysis in European perspective
The paper proposes a theoretical investigation of the impact of welfare on the growth regimes, inspired by new growth theory and recent advances in institutional analysis. It shows the complementarity of Welfare State with the Fordist growth pattern and discusses the reasons of the "Welfare State Crisis" (technological change, globalization, shift in political alliances, or alarmist discourses on the inefficiency of social security), against the evidence brought by systematic international comparisons. The French welfare system appears less statist than paritarist, i.e. jointly managed by firm and unions. This historical pattern explains many contemporary features (the large bulk of the financing by the firms, the segmentation of the regimes, the absence of a tax or social contribution revolts from the citizens) and the move towards an hybridization of a basic Bismarckian financing system along with some Beveridgian principles. Recent evolutions do not point out towards privatization but on the contrary the State has implement a form of health care planning and created a new social tax in order to sustain an unabated demand for welfare.The paper provides too a taxonomy for contemporary Welfare State, a series of scenarios, both for France and European countries.
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