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The analysis of welfare state effects on social trust in a multidimensional approach


  • Tamilina, Larysa

    (Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of Bremen)


Crowding-out hypothesis asserts that in the presence of developed social obligations, social trust levels tend to be low. Empirical evidence of the crowding-out is however poor while this relationship is mainly studied under narrow assumption about unidimensionality of welfare state development operationalized through social spending as a percentage of GDP. The main objective of this study is to show that allowing for multidimensionality in welfare states provides more support for the crowding-out. The multidimensionality is formed around three axes: functional, outcome and qualitative. Functional dimension is defined on the basis of functions social policy performs taking as an example pension and unemployment spending. Outcome dimension accounts for the effects of decommodification and stratification on interpersonal and institutional trust. And, finally, qualitative dimension describes the impact of social provisions’ characteristics, namely their institutional design, delivery form and mode of financing on social trust levels. Empirical results generally support the idea that the sign in the relationship between welfare state and social trust depends on the measure of welfare state development.

Suggested Citation

  • Tamilina, Larysa, 2008. "The analysis of welfare state effects on social trust in a multidimensional approach," IRISS Working Paper Series 2008-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2008-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francis Fukuyama, 2000. "Social Capital and Civil Society," IMF Working Papers 00/74, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Hall, Peter A., 1999. "Social Capital in Britain," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(03), pages 417-461, June.
    3. Knack, Stephen & Zak, Paul J., 2001. "Building trust: public policy, interpersonal trust and economic development," MPRA Paper 25055, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Evans, Peter, 1996. "Government action, social capital and development: Reviewing the evidence on synergy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1119-1132, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Bolvig, Iben & Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael, 2003. "The Employment Effects of Active Social Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Sohn, Christophe & Reitel, Bernard & Walther, Olivier, 2009. "Cross-border metropolitan integration in Europe (Luxembourg, Basel and Geneva)," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-02, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    2. Prejmerean, Mihaela Cornelia & Vasilache, Simona, 2008. "What's a university worth? Changes in the lifestyle and status of post-2000 European Graduates," IRISS Working Paper Series 2008-05, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

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    crowding-out ; social trust ; welfare state ; multidimensionality ; social benefits;

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