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Improving the Performance of the European Social Model - The Welfare State over the Life Cycle

  • Lindbeck, Assar


    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

The achievements of social-welfare arrangements in Western Europe are well known: considerable income security, relatively little poverty and, in some countries, ample supply of social services. But there are also well-known weaknesses and hence considerable scope for improvement. Three types of weaknesses are considered in this paper: social-welfare arrangements are often not financially robust to shocks; individuals make undesirable behavioural adjustments in response to welfare-state arrangements and their financing; and social-welfare arrangements are often poorly adapted to recent changes in socio-economic conditions and preferences of individuals. I discuss these weaknesses, and alternative methods to mitigate them, in the context of various types of welfare-state arrangements that the individual may encounter over the life cycle.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 717.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 06 Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0717
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
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  1. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics," Working Paper Series 428, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Assar Lindbeck & Solveig Wikström, 2003. "E-exchange and the Boundary between Households and Organizations," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 315-340, 08.
  3. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2001. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort. A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," CESifo Working Paper Series 596, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2002. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Seminar Papers 712, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Assar Lindbeck, 1996. "The West European employment problem," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 132(4), pages 609-637, December.
  6. Lars Calmfors & Anders Forslund & Maria Hemström, 2002. "Does Active Labour Market Policy Work? Lessons from the Swedish Experiences," CESifo Working Paper Series 675, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2000. "The threat to the German welfare state," Munich Reprints in Economics 19861, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti, 2002. "Unemployment, Labour Force Composition and Sickness Absence: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 466, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Arai, Mahmood & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2005. "Incentives and selection in cyclical absenteeism," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 269-280, April.
  10. Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2004. "Reporting sick: are sporting events contagious?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 809-823.
  11. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J., 1999. "Multi-Task Learning and the Reorganization of Work. From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," IZA Discussion Papers 39, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
  13. John McHale, 1999. "The Risk of Social Security Benefit Rule Changes: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:465-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Tito Boeri & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, . "Regulation and Labour Market Performance," Working Papers 158, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  17. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:1:p:1-35 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Johansson, Per & Palme, Mårten, 2001. "Assessing the effect of public policy on worker absenteeism," Working Paper Series 2002:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  19. Sherwin Rosen, 1996. "Public Employment and the Welfare State in Sweden," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 729-740, June.
  20. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  21. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
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