Investigating Welfare State Change: The Dependant Variable by Jochen Clausen, Nico A. Siegel

By Jochen Clausen, Nico A. Siegel

Modern bills of welfare kingdom switch have produced conflicting findings and incompatible theoretical factors. To a wide volume this can be because of a 'dependent variable challenge' inside of comparative study, wherein there's inadequate attention of the way to conceptualize, operationalize and degree switch. With contributions from prime foreign students, this significant publication offers a entire exam of traditional signs (such as social spending), to be had choices (including social rights and conditionality), in addition to vital thoughts of the way to catch switch (for instance convergence and de-familization). via supplying an in-depth dialogue of the main salient points of the 'dependent variable problem', the editors target to let a extra cumulative build-up of empirical facts and give a contribution to positive theoretical debates in regards to the motives of welfare country switch. the amount additionally deals useful feedback as to how the matter could be tackled inside of empirical cross-national analyses of recent welfare states. the focal point at the method of conceptualizing and measuring welfare kingdom swap in a comparative viewpoint offers this detailed booklet common attraction among students and researchers of social coverage and sociology, in addition to scholars at either the complicated undergraduate and post-graduate point learning comparative social coverage, examine tools and welfare reform.

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Extra info for Investigating Welfare State Change: The Dependant Variable Problem in Comparative Analysis

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Still today, the main beneficiaries of the key programmes that constituted the backbone of the postwar welfare state: old-age pensions, invalidity and sickness benefits, tend to be found among men and older age groups, nationals and long established immigrants. In contrast, the key beneficiaries of the new social policies tend to be found above all among women, young people and new immigrants. These two reasons, a different objective and a different target population, should lead us to consider these two sets of policies as ‘different animals’, which should be analysed separately.

Did welfare states undergo a process of retrenchment or of continued expansion? As welfare states represent entities, their change might not be measured adequately if one-dimensional (quantitative) scales are used, hence: do we have to conceptualize welfare state change in more complex multidimensional ways than terms such as ‘retrenchment’ or ‘expansion’ suggest? The relevant literature provides several answers to these questions. Most country studies based on qualitative in-depth analyses of social policy programmes and comparative inquiries into legislative changes have presented evidence showing that the generosity of social rights was adjusted downwards in OECD countries during the 1980s and 1990s.

However, during the postwar years, low-skill workers were predominantly employed in manufacturing. They were able to benefit from productivity increases due to technological advances, so that their wages rose in line with those of the rest of the population. The strong mobilizing capacity of the trade unions among industrial workers further sustained their wages which came to constitute the guarantee of a poverty-free existence. Today, low-skill individuals are mostly employed in the low-value-added service sector or unemployed.

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