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The economics of the welfare state in today’s world

Atkinson, Anthony B. (2008) The economics of the welfare state in today’s world. International Tax and Public Finance, 15 (1). pp. 5-17. ISSN 0927-5940

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10797-007-9052-x


This article is concerned both with the substantive policy issue of the implications of the European welfare state in a global setting and with the way in which economists analyse the welfare state. Economics has made a major contribution to our understanding of the welfare state through the provision of formal models. These have allowed us to see the implications of social protection for countries increasingly open to international competition. These models, however, leave out essential elements, and the standard Heckscher–Ohlin 2-good, 2-factor, 2-country assumptions impose too tight a straitjacket. We do not observe full factor price equalisation. The paper considers how we might relax this straitjacket to incorporate elements that are important in the public debate, while preserving tractability. The resulting 3×3×3 model is used to investigate the impact of globalisation on the welfare state, contrasting Europe and the US.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H8 - Miscellaneous Issues > H87 - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2011 10:03
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 00:47

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