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Generating Legitimacy for Labor Market and Welfare State Reforms: The Role of Policy Advice in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden

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  • Eichhorst, Werner

    () (IZA)

  • Wintermann, Ole

    () (Bertelsmann Foundation)

Abstract

Policy advice can help political actors design and implement institutional reforms through the generation of political and substantial legitimacy. This article clarifies the institutional pre-conditions of effective supply and transfer of policy advice with particular respect to the field of labor market and social policy reform and to corporatist arrangements where academic think tanks and social partner bodies for policy advice exist side by side. It shows how policy advice is structured and to what it extent it could influence actual policy-making in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden over the last decade. Our main argument is that the structure of policy advice is essential for its effectiveness, with highly reputable and less contested expert committees and research institutes providing balanced policy-oriented advice are most influential and conducive to furthering labor market and welfare state reforms in corporatist settings. In combination with a shadow of hierarchy spent by government they can also facilitate social partner consensus. Hence, an appropriate supply of policy advice can help ensure sufficient legitimacy for institutional reforms and increase societal problem-solving capacities. If government is weak for institutional reasons and policy advice rather fragmented, challenged and less policy-oriented, like in the German case, policy advice can not realize its full potential.

Suggested Citation

  • Eichhorst, Werner & Wintermann, Ole, 2005. "Generating Legitimacy for Labor Market and Welfare State Reforms: The Role of Policy Advice in Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1845, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1845
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lindbeck, Assar, 2001. "Changing Tides for the Welfare State - An Essay," Working Paper Series 550, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Kemmerling, Achim & Bruttel, Oliver, 2005. "New politics in German labour market policy? The implications of the recent Hartz reforms for the German welfare state," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2005-101, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. Ebbinghaus, Bernhard & Hassel, Anke, 1999. "Striking deals: Concertation in the reform of continental European welfare states," MPIfG Discussion Paper 99/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    4. Frank A.G. den Butter & Robert H.J. Mosch, 2003. "The Dutch Miracle: Institutions, Networks, and Trust," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(2), pages 362-362, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Streeck, Wolfgang & Trampusch, Christine, 2005. "Economic reform and the political economy of the German welfare state," MPIfG Working Paper 05/2, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    7. Desmond Lachman & Ramana Ramaswamy & J. H. Green & Robert P. Hagemann & Adam Bennett, 1995. "Challenges to the Swedish Welfare State," IMF Occasional Papers 130, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Weaver, R. Kent, 1986. "The Politics of Blame Avoidance," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(04), pages 371-398, October.
    9. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Fritz W. Scharpf, 1994. "Games Real Actors Could Play," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 6(1), pages 27-53, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sowa, Frank & Gottwald, Markus & Grimminger, Sandra & Ixmeier, Sebastian & Promberger, Markus, 2016. "Vermittlerhandeln im weiterentwickelten Zielsystem der Bundesagentur für Arbeit : zum Forschungsdesign einer organisationsethnografischen Studie," IAB-Forschungsbericht 201602, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporatism; labor market reforms; public policy; policy advice;

    JEL classification:

    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy

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