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Working Paper No. 159. OECD recommends: A consensus for or against welfare states?

PublicationWorking paper
Andreas Bergh, Företagandets villkor, OECD, Reformer, Välfärd
Working Paper No. 159.
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Abstract

We describe the policy consensus in the OECD publication Economic Surveys, by constructing a database that contains both quotations and a quantification of the perceived reform need for 23 OECD countries around 1985, 1995 and 2005. Using the database, we examine whether or not the policy recommendations given by the OECD require welfare state cutbacks. We also examine how reform need correlates with social expenditure and income inequality. The recommendations in OECD Economic Surveys describe a policy consensus based on competition, work incentives, monetary reform, fiscal discipline and labor market reform. Reforms in these areas do not necessarily require welfare state cutbacks. Quantitatively, we find a significant positive correlation between reform need and social expenditure only for the mid 1990s, and no significant correlations between reform need and inequality. We conclude that OECD countries with large welfare states have managed to implement reforms without substantial welfare state retrenchment. The policy recommendations in Economic Surveys imply a restructuring of the welfare state but not necessarily welfare state cutbacks.

Bergh, A. & Dackehag, M. (2010). OECD recommends: A consensus for or against welfare states? Evidence from a new database. Ratio Working Paper No. 159.

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Working Paper No. 159. OECD recommends: A consensus for or against welfare states?
Working paperPublication
Bergh, A. & Dackehag, M.
Publication year

2010

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

We describe the policy consensus in the OECD publication Economic Surveys, by constructing a database that contains both quotations and a quantification of the perceived reform need for 23 OECD countries around 1985, 1995 and 2005. Using the database, we examine whether or not the policy recommendations given by the OECD require welfare state cutbacks. We also examine how reform need correlates with social expenditure and income inequality. The recommendations in OECD Economic Surveys describe a policy consensus based on competition, work incentives, monetary reform, fiscal discipline and labor market reform. Reforms in these areas do not necessarily require welfare state cutbacks. Quantitatively, we find a significant positive correlation between reform need and social expenditure only for the mid 1990s, and no significant correlations between reform need and inequality. We conclude that OECD countries with large welfare states have managed to implement reforms without substantial welfare state retrenchment. The policy recommendations in Economic Surveys imply a restructuring of the welfare state but not necessarily welfare state cutbacks.

Working Paper No. 159. OECD recommends: A consensus for or against welfare states?
Working paperPublication
Bergh, A. & Dackehag, M.
Publication year

2010

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

We describe the policy consensus in the OECD publication Economic Surveys, by constructing a database that contains both quotations and a quantification of the perceived reform need for 23 OECD countries around 1985, 1995 and 2005. Using the database, we examine whether or not the policy recommendations given by the OECD require welfare state cutbacks. We also examine how reform need correlates with social expenditure and income inequality. The recommendations in OECD Economic Surveys describe a policy consensus based on competition, work incentives, monetary reform, fiscal discipline and labor market reform. Reforms in these areas do not necessarily require welfare state cutbacks. Quantitatively, we find a significant positive correlation between reform need and social expenditure only for the mid 1990s, and no significant correlations between reform need and inequality. We conclude that OECD countries with large welfare states have managed to implement reforms without substantial welfare state retrenchment. The policy recommendations in Economic Surveys imply a restructuring of the welfare state but not necessarily welfare state cutbacks.

Ratio Working Paper No. 349: Industrial conflict in essential services in a new era – Swedish rules in a comparative perspective
Working paperPublication
Karlson, N.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This paper examines whether the Swedish regulatory system of dealing with industrial conflicts that affect essential services need an update or reform. Are the existing rules effective in a world where many essential services are upheld by many interdependent agents in complex systems where every single node becomes critical for the functioning of the system, and where the essential service activities could be either private or public? A comparative study is conducted with the corresponding regulatory systems of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark.
The conclusion is that Sweden is a special case. The Swedish protection against and readiness in dealing with societally harmful industrial conflicts in essential services is weaker than in the countries of comparison. Just as in relation to other threats to essential services, it is not sustainable to claim that just because such a threat is not currently present, there would be no need for preparedness.
There are many alternative ways to handle this. Desirable methods should both prevent harmful conflicts from erupting and end conflicts that have grown harmful to society at a later stage. The labour market organisations should have a mutual interest in reforming the rules.

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