IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Is the American Model Miss World? Choosing between the Anglo-Saxon Model and a European-Style Alternative

  • H.L.F. de Groot
  • R. Nahuis
  • P.J.G. Tang

Abstract In Lisbon, the European Union has set itself the goal to become the most competitive economy in the world in 2010 without harming social cohesion and the environment. The motivation for introducing this target is the substantially higher GDP per capita of US citizens. The difference in income is mainly a difference in the number of hours worked per employee. In terms of productivity per hour and employment per inhabitant, several European countries score equally well or even better than the United States, while at the same time they outperform the United States with a more equal distribution of income. The European social models are at least as interesting as the US model that is often considered a role model. In an empirical analysis for OECD countries, we aim to unravel ‘the secret of success’. Our regression results show that income redistribution (through a social security system) does not necessarily lead to lower participation and higher unemployment, provided that countries supplement it with active labour market policies. Especially, spending on employment services like job-search assistance and vocational guidance, seems effective. Furthermore, the results suggest that generous unemployment benefits of short duration contribute to employment without widening the income distribution. Keywords: welfare states, income inequality, unemployment, productivity, participation, labour market policies

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 04-26.

in new window

Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0426
Contact details of provider: Postal: P.O. Box 80125, NL-3508 TC Utrecht
Phone: +31 30 253 9800
Fax: +31 30 253 7373
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Martin Neil Baily, 2001. "Macroeconomic Implications of the New Economy," Working Paper Series WP01-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, . "Unemployment, Growth and Taxation in Industrial Countries," Working Papers 122, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Belot, M.V.K., 2003. "Labor market institutions in OECD countries : Origins and consequences," Other publications TiSEM d9ec4bc4-0113-4677-a390-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. John P Martin, 1998. "What Works Among Active Labour Market Policies: Evidence from OECD Countries' Experiences," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Guy Debelle & Jeff Borland (ed.), Unemployment and the Australian Labour Market Reserve Bank of Australia.
  6. Richard Layard & Stephen Nickell, 1998. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0407, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
  8. Linda A. Bell & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "The Incentive for Working Hard: Explaining Hours Worked Differences in the U.S. and Germany," NBER Working Papers 8051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
  10. Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
  11. R. Nahuis & H.M. de Groot, 2003. "Rising Skills Premia. You ain't seen nothing yet," Working Papers 03-02, Utrecht School of Economics.
  12. Martin N. Baily, 2001. "Macroeconomic implications of the new economy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 201-268.
  13. Ruud de Mooij & Paul Tang, 2003. "Four futures of Europe," CPB Special Publication 49, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  14. Paul Cavelaars, 2003. "Has the tradeoff between productivity gains and job growth disappeared?," MEB Series (discontinued) 2003-12, Netherlands Central Bank, Monetary and Economic Policy Department.
  15. Andersen, Torben M., 2004. "Challenges to the Scandinavian welfare model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 743-754, September.
  16. Belot, Michele & van Ours, Jan C., 2001. "Unemployment and Labor Market Institutions: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 403-418, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0426. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marina Muilwijk)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.