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Towards social investment and social innovation in EU member states? First observations of recent developments in Austria


  • Karin Heitzmann
  • Florian Wukovitsch


This paper aims to shed light on the relative importance of the discourse on social investment and social innovation in Austrian social policy by examining their role in academic and civil society discussions and presenting some evidence of current empirical developments. It is shown that the idea of social innovation is increasingly being promoted by industry, the media and civil society. In terms of social investment, the perspective has only recently been taken up by some researchers and interest groups. Depending on its very definition, however, empirical data on social investment expenditures suggest – also in comparison with other conservative welfare states – increasing or decreasing trends of this type of social security expenditures in Austria.

Suggested Citation

  • Karin Heitzmann & Florian Wukovitsch, 2015. "Towards social investment and social innovation in EU member states? First observations of recent developments in Austria," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/19, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdl:improv:1519

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    2. Gillwald, Katrin, 2000. "Konzepte sozialer Innovation," Papers, Research Network Project "Work and Ecology" P 00-519, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    3. Michele-Lee Moore & Frances R. Westley & Alex Nicholls, 2012. "The Social Finance and Social Innovation Nexus-super-1," Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 115-132, October.
    4. Bonoli, Giuliano, 2013. "The Origins of Active Social Policy: Labour Market and Childcare Policies in a Comparative Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199669769.
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    More about this item


    social investment; social innovation; Austrian welfare state;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O35 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Social Innovation

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