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Readjusting the social democratic welfare state in Denmark 1973 - 2003


  • Bogedan, Claudia


As a social democratic welfare state, Denmark has offered universal and generous benefits promoting equality and diminishing stigmatisation; provision is almost entirely taxfinanced and public services play an important role. Consequently, welfare state spending has been traditionally high. Thus, one would expect that globalisation and low economic growth will threaten this welfare state arrangement. However, the example of Denmark shows that high public expenditure on the welfare state could be conserved. Albeit, in the last decade this small country in the North of Europe has gained much attention as role model for successful welfare state restructuring. The question is thus, how did Denmark readjust its welfare state to the changed environment? Therefore the present paper focuses on policy developments in four major welfare programmes: health care, labour market, old-age pensions and family since the 1970s. By comparatively contrasting these developments the paper is furthermore able to identify patterns in the process of readjusting the Danish welfare state.

Suggested Citation

  • Bogedan, Claudia, 2006. "Readjusting the social democratic welfare state in Denmark 1973 - 2003," TranState Working Papers 40, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:40

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    1. Donald O. Parsons & Torben Tranæs & Helene Bie Lilleør, 1999. "Voluntary Public Unemployment Insurance," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
    2. Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, 2001. "Minority Governments and Party Politics: The Political and Institutional Background to the," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(01), pages 53-70, January.
    3. Ganghof, Steffen, 2005. "High Taxes in Hard Times: How Denmark Built and Maintained a Huge Income Tax," MPIfG Discussion Paper 05/5, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    4. Joakim Palme & Walter Korpi, 1998. "The Paradox of Redistribution and Strategies of Equality: Welfare State Institutions, Inequality and Poverty in the Western Countries," LIS Working papers 174, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    5. Green-Pedersen, Christoffer, 2001. "Minority governments and party politics: The political and institutional background to the Danish Miracle," MPIfG Discussion Paper 01/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:251-267_22 is not listed on IDEAS
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