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Of similarities and divergences: why there is no continental ideal-type of 'activation reforms'



In matters of "activation of social protection" as in other policy areas, one would expect that three types of welfare regimes would be identifiable. However, with the hindsight of 20 years of the deployment of "activation strategies", it is still impossible to draw the stylized characters of a "Bismarckian" or " conservative-corporatist" type to compare with the Scandinavian and Liberal ones. In the domain, Germany and France have reformed, each with their own pace and timing, according to their institutional systems, systems of actors and political culture. They have much in common, but also persistent dissimilarities that can be ascribed to their long term history. The empirically detailed survey (from the 1960's) contributes to confirming that a "broad view" comparison leaves aside many crucial explanatory factors. It also shows the limits of an analysis in terms of welfare regimes, when it comes to explaining change and reform. Finally, both societies have implemented policies and reforms that have fostered an amazing fragmentation of situations, a much more complex situation that the simple opposition between "insiders" and "outsiders" is unable to capture, while it postulates a "dualization" of their social protection systems

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  • Jean-Claude Barbier & Matthias Knuth, 2010. "Of similarities and divergences: why there is no continental ideal-type of 'activation reforms'," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10075, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:10075

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    1. Marcel Erlinghagen, 2010. "Mehr Angst vor Arbeitsplatzverlust seit Hartz?: Langfristige Entwicklung der Beschäftigungsunsicherheit in Deutschland," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 279, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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    More about this item


    Activating social protection; welfare; social protection comparison France-Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J69 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Other
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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