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Journal Article

Welfare Regimes and Welfare State Outcomes in Europe


Kammer,  Andreas
International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Kammer, A., Niehues, J., & Peichl, A. (2012). Welfare Regimes and Welfare State Outcomes in Europe. Journal of European Social Policy, 22(5), 455-471. doi:10.1177/0958928712456572.

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Welfare state typologies are generally based on the institutional design of welfare policies. In this paper we analyse whether such typologies also persist when they are applied to effective redistributive outcomes of welfare states’ tax and transfer policies. In contrast to the widespread use of macro indicators, our empirical analysis relies on internationally comparable microdata in order to account for the distribution of resources across households. We perform a hierarchical cluster analysis and check whether the classical typology for Western European welfare states reproduces the typical patterns when it comes to effective economic outcomes. We find that the established welfare regimes not only differ in their welfare state institutions as is known, but also in their economic outcomes. In particular, we identify the social-democratic, conservative, liberal and southern welfare regimes. Belgium and the Netherlands emerge as hybrid cases lying between the social-democratic and conservative model.