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

Author

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  • Lindbeck, Assar

    () (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar, 2003. "Improving the Performance of the European Social Model - The Welfare State over the Life Cycle," Working Paper Series 587, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0587
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Tito Boeri & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, "undated". "Regulation and Labour Market Performance," Working Papers 158, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2004. "Reporting sick: are sporting events contagious?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 809-823.
    4. Ichino, Andrea & Riphahn, Regina T., 2001. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: A Comparison of Absenteeism During and After Probation," IZA Discussion Papers 385, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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 1-33, March.
    6. Jan Erik Askildsen & Espen Bratberg & Øivind Anti Nilsen, 2005. "Unemployment, labor force composition and sickness absence: a panel data study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(11), pages 1087-1101.
    7. John McHale, 2001. "The Risk of Social Security Benefit-Rule Changes: Some International Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 247-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2000. "The threat to the German welfare state," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 28(3), pages 279-294, September.
    9. repec:hhs:iuiwop:466 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    11. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 9-15, May.
    12. Arai, Mahmood & Thoursie, Peter Skogman, 2005. "Incentives and selection in cyclical absenteeism," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 269-280, April.
    13. Calmfors, Lars & Forslund, Anders & Hemström, Maria, 2002. "Does Active Labour Market Policy Work? Lessons from the Swedish Experiences," Seminar Papers 700, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    14. Assar Lindbeck & Mats Persson, 2003. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 74-112, March.
    15. Per Johansson & Mårten Palme, 2002. "Assessing the Effect of Public Policy on Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 381-409.
    16. Lindbeck, Assar & Snower, Dennis J, 2000. "Multitask Learning and the Reorganization of Work: From Tayloristic to Holistic Organization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 353-376, July.
    17. 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.
    18. Assar Lindbeck, 1996. "The West European employment problem," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 132(4), pages 609-637, December.
    19. Assar Lindbeck & Solveig Wikström, 2003. "E-exchange and the Boundary between Households and Organizations," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 315-340, August.
    20. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:465-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Policies; Welfare State; Labour Market; Family Structure; Preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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