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Childhood, schooling and income inequality

Economic growth is the sole target. International wage inequality and poverty increase due to economic pressures, and social protection is weakening. Welfare of nation states decreases with neoliberal policies [ 31 ]. According to Pierson, globalization alone is not the reason for the reduction of the power of welfare states. As an external power, globalization may require renewal in the structuring of states, but this restructuring should not be a reduction of social policies.

In this process, states should also take into account the internal effects such as demographic, migration, and social developments and decide on the restructuring process accordingly [ 32 ]. According to Esping-Anderson, nation states should prefer more balanced practices on the axis of globalization. Nation states with strong economic and political structures should prefer the most harmonious practices for their own future while guiding globalization [ 27 ].

According to Rieger and Leibfried, globalization emerged as a result of efforts of the nation states to reduce the negative effects of war with the liberal model. The economies of nation states are independent of the global economy; therefore, the restructuring process and the establishment of relevant policies should be evaluated in this respect [ 33 ]. The causes of the crisis of the welfare state in developed countries are globalization which is an external factor and internal variables which are related to the social structures of states. One of these reasons is the demographic structure, which has changed because of the aging population, prolongation of life, and decreasing birth rates.

In addition, family structure has changed, divorces have increased, public expenditures, pension and health expenditures, and taxes have increased, and economic growth has declined. The competitive power of the countries in the international arena has decreased due to the increase in the expenditures of the welfare state to ensure social welfare. Having been in search of providing solution for the elimination of the financial pressures caused by the expenditures related to increased welfare, the welfare states have entered into a restructuring process.

In the restructuring and surviving process, the financial pressure was tried to be eased through the privatization of the pension system, raising the retirement age, increasing the premiums, and reducing the financial pressure. With the shrinkage in the welfare state, the provision of welfare services has also changed. It seems hard to foresee the future state of welfare state clearly because of variables. Welfare state changes based on social, economic, cultural, and demographic structures of states. It does not seem possible to provide financing of welfare statement with traditional methods.


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Especially financial crisis, welfare state had a view that a system in which the main player is the state is not sufficient for economic growth. The increasing unemployment is an obstacle for the welfare state growth. Moreover, the population of many states is getting older, and the demographic structure is changing. Labor markets need to be supported, new jobs need to be created, and employment needs to be increased. Therefore, states determined their policies. Public expenditures are increasing due to increasing pension payments with the aging population.

The expectations that welfare state provides welfare are increasing more and more.


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The approaches for providing welfare are different. Some states adopt liberal approaches, some states adopt corporatist and some others adopt universal approaches. In recent years, the belief that economic policies are not sufficient for achieving a welfare state but that welfare state needs to be achieved through social policies has been increasing. Although many arguments have been raised in discussions on the future of the welfare state, it is possible to say that the rightist and leftist views are more dominant.

The rightists argue that the welfare state can overcome the crisis only by shifting to neoliberal policies. They also argue that the obligatory change that took place in the industrial revolution is also valid for the Information Age which emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century and that social policies need to be developed by the supranational organizations after the change of welfare state.

For the leftists, they argue that welfare states have the ability to adapt themselves changing conditions; and therefore, they can overcome the crisis through reforms and restructuring. It is suggested that the neo-Keynesian approaches should be adopted instead of the neoliberal approach in the reform process. The New Right is focused on the role of bureaucracy and pressure groups. The globalization, which has been cited as a reason for the transformation of the welfare state and social policies, increases its influence with the participation of international organizations such as World Bank, World Health Organization, and International Monetary Fund [ 13 , 34 , 35 ].

Nation states should implement policies in economic and social spheres not based on external processes but based on internal dynamics. As stated above, although they have similar features, each country has different applications for social protection. Here, the main important thing is to determine the impacts of change on demographic and cultural structures of the countries and make intervention properly.

In summary, it is the choice of national political authorities to present the effects of globalization as the only reason for their national policies. Instead of this perspective, it would be a more realistic approach to try to benefit from the positive impacts of globalization for reducing problems at the national level. By this way, it would be possible to develop more effective tools to prevent the increasing social problems. Welfare states are still developing.


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States are in search for better work and life conditions. They want to have social security systems which cover all social risks. From this perspective, it is possible to say that there is not a real crisis in welfare states, but there are efforts to remove obstacles before the economic growth.

Welfare states need to make regulations to decrease unemployment rates, taxes, and public expenditures because of the decline in economic growth [ 17 ]. There seems to be a tendency for narrowing in social policies because the proportion of social expenditures in public expenditures is high. These practices, which were put into practice in s and which aimed to be active in the labor market, were based on regulations that encourage working and restricting passive expenditures. In order to reduce the passive expenditures, the period of benefiting from social benefits was shortened, and their conditions were made difficult.

When the impact of the reform implementations on social expenditures is evaluated, it is seen that poverty of children has increased and the works for giving family aids and providing vocation education have been insufficient. It is obvious that retirement age and health expenditures will continue to increase due to the aging population.

It is possible to say that the increase of passive expenditures due to the aging of the population constitutes an obstacle before realization of active and passive reforms [ 37 ]. As a result, welfare states continue to exist in different ways. The developments show that the view that social rights, freedoms, and ideological thoughts are not sufficient to achieve the economic growth.

It is possible to say that the welfare states having this view will follow impartial policies about making social expenditures in future years. In this study, the social policy and the welfare state are handled with their goals, scopes, types, and problems from their historical development up to today.

Social policy is a set of measures developed to protect workers against the dangers arising as a result of industrialization, in parallel to the historical development, after the industrial revolution. Its emergence in this way has caused the social policies to be defined in a narrow sense. After World War II, the narrow perspective on social policy began to change.

The reason of this change was the fact that the measures to protect the interests of the working class were not sufficient to solve social problems. Therefore, it was concluded that social policy should be extended to cover all segments of society. In a broad sense, social policy is a set of measures taken to ensure that all segments of the society live in peace and harmony to prevent unemployment, to improve working conditions, to provide a minimum wage, to provide social security and benefits, to eliminate injustice in income distribution, and to ensure social justice.

Päällekkäiset lähteet

Social policy refers to all policies that ensure the welfare of the state and individuals and the dynamic practices that constantly change. The main goal of social policies is to ensure that everyone in society lives in peace and harmony away from conflicts. With social policies, it is aimed to ensure social justice, social development, social balance, social integration, and social peace.

Päällekkäiset lähteet

The goal of social justice is to create equality of opportunity for every individual without eliminating the freedoms and to ensure a fair distribution of income. In particular, objective of justice is to provide services such as education, tax, social security, equal opportunities, and fair and adequate wages. Providing social balance is possible by eliminating social and regional differences. For the establishment of social peace, the factors that hinder social reconciliation must be eliminated.

The aim of social integration is to ensure that measures are taken to prevent social disintegration. The industrial revolution played an important role in the historical development of social policies. After the industrial revolution, the increased capital ensured the formation of a powerful and rich bourgeoisie. On the other hand, the need for manpower was met by means of the working class.

The Welfare State, The European Union And The Future

The gap between these two segments in society gradually increased. The working class was left totally unprotected with the adoption of a liberal approach which argues that interference with market conditions adversely affects welfare. The increasing social problems led to the formation of social policies. The liberal market economy, which was replaced with Keynesian policies after World War II and economic crisis, was given up, and thus, the state could interfere with market by means of social policies.

Dating back to s, the welfare state continued to strengthen until the mids due to the increased unemployment and spread of poverty in all countries. The concept of welfare state entered into literature with the Beveridge Report, which was created in Looking at the foundations of the concept of welfare state, it is possible to say that it dates back to social security practices introduced by Bismarck in The common feature of these countries was that they had industrialization and developed market economies and democratic systems.

South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, which underwent a further industrialization process, started to be accepted as welfare states in the s. Japan had completed this process earlier. While there were attempts to become a welfare state in the Soviet Union after the Bolshevik Revolution in , the efforts to become a welfare state began later in China, Cuba, and Eastern Europe but they did not achieve an accomplishment with this regard because they had no industrialization.

Social policy, which emerged as a result of failure of the social problems created by the liberal economy approach, was replaced with the concept of welfare state after the adoption of social security practices introduced by Bismarck in Germany. The social state developed policies not only in the areas of health, education, social security, distribution of income, and housing but also sought solutions to environmental and urban problems in order to ensure social welfare.

The welfare state varies from country to country according to the level of welfare they have. According to the classification made by Esping-Anderson, liberal welfare model belongs to conservative Continental Europe, while the social democratic model belongs to Scandinavians. It is possible to say that the welfare state, which was developed to eliminate the deficiencies of the liberal and socialist understanding in welfare, is a new form of liberal model. In this sense, it acts with an interventionist approach to solve the problems that may arise in the field of social policy.

The Keynesian welfare state stated to have a tendency to narrow social expenditures due to the decrease of economic growth, unemployment, and increased budget deficits after the economic crises seen in the s. The financial pressures caused by social expenditures may cause the welfare state to take on a passive character as in the liberal period in the face of social problems and cause social policies to regress. This retrogression in the welfare is justified with globalization process, which has started to show its effects since the late s.

The understanding of globalization which is accompanied by liberalization suggests the limitation of the duties of the state. This situation may cause deeper problems in the social field. Although globalization had an impact on the welfare state as an external factor, it is also necessary to evaluate the internal factors related to the socioeconomic and demographic structures of the states in the emergence of the crisis.

Demographic structure that changed because of the aging of the population, prolongation of life span, and decreasing birth rates can be shown as a reason for the crisis of the welfare state in developed countries. In addition, the family structure changed, public expenditures, pension and health expenditures, and taxes increased, and economic growth decreased. The competitive power of the welfare state decreased due to the increase in expenditures made to ensure social welfare.

The welfare states, which are in search of a solution for the elimination of the financial pressures caused by the expenditures related to increased prosperity, have entered into a restructuring process. In the process of restructuring and surviving, the financial pressure was tried to be eased through the privatization of the retirement system, raising the retirement age, and increasing the premiums.

During the restructuring process, the privatization initiatives were accelerated by providing the social welfare service through local administrations at local level. There are many views on the future of the welfare state. Rightists who provide solutions to overcome the crisis argue that the neoliberal approach should be adopted, while leftists argue that neo-Keynesian approaches should be adopted. Based on the fact that the reason for the transformation in the welfare state is not just globalization, each state should develop policies and tools that are the most appropriate for its social structure to adapt it to the transformation process.

In fact, when we look at the practices of the welfare states in the world, it is possible to say that the effects of the crisis differ according to the level of development and welfare. Some of the welfare states continue to undertake initiatives to reduce public expenditures but they fail to satisfy the expectations especially because of the demographic structure.

It is impossible to reduce the health and retirement expenditures because of the increasingly aging population. Considering OECD data, it is seen that the activation efforts fail short to satisfy the expectations. On the other hand, it is seen that family and care support are not provided enough, and child poverty increases. Activation of practices is implemented by many countries.

It can be said that the time passed is not enough to give a decision whether the activation efforts have positive effects. However, it is clear that retirement and health expenditures will continue to increase due to the aging population. Inflation, tax, and public expenditures need to be reduced in order that the welfare state continues its existence and economic growth and increases its competitiveness. In Europe, where there is tradition of social solidarity, there is a tendency that the welfare state continues.

However, welfare services are still planned by the state, and many services are still provided by the state. Despite all these developments, it is possible to say that the welfare state has an active role on social policies and welfare states are resistant to the economic negativities experienced. In our opinion, reducing social expenditures should be the last resort in the reform initiatives of states to achieve growth in the future periods of transformation of the welfare state. The strategies to be established in this way should be determined in light of the following points: Not deviating from the goal of achieving ultimate welfare in the transferring of services to the private sector and preserving the regulatory, descriptive character of the state.

The Individual and the Welfare State: Life Histories in Europe

Making use of the increasing of voluntary organizations and local governments with regard to the provision of social services. Lans Bovenberg. Low Fertility, Institutions, and their Policies. Ronald R. Reforming Long-term Care in Europe. Joan Costa-Font.

Social Welfare

Social Stratification. Roxanne Connelly. Caring for Mental Health in the Future. Social Economics. Measuring the Global Shadow Economy. Colin C. Family Poverty in Diverse Contexts. Anne Broussard. Population Issues. Pearl A. Social Exclusion. Giuliana Parodi. The Demography of Health and Healthcare. Louis G. Youth and the Crisis Open Access. Gianluigi Coppola. Delaying Retirement. Health Care Provision and Patient Mobility. Rosella Levaggi.

Varieties of Aging. George L. Dealing with the financial crisis. Francesca Eleuteri. Health Economics and Policy. Victor R Fuchs. Advances in Happiness Research. Toshiaki Tachibanaki.

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Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics. Powell Lawton. Old Age In Europe. Kathrin Komp. Transitions to Adulthood in Europe. Erik Klijzing. Young People and the Labour Market. Floro Ernesto Caroleo. Beyond Obamacare. James S. Indicators and Trends in Health and Health Care. Detlef Schwefel. Age And Inequality. Angela O'rand. Growing Older Without Feeling Old. Rudi Westendorp. John C.

Anne-Kathrin Wippermann. Aging Together. Susan H. The Social Economics of Health Care. John B Davis. Filomena Maggino. Quality and Inequality of Education. Jaap Dronkers. Ageism and Mistreatment of Older Workers. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Martina Brandt.

In this introduction, we sketch how cross-nationally comparative retrospective Accepted 26 October data can be fruitfully employed to better understand these links and the long-run effects of the welfare state at the same time. The eight studies in this special issue Life history data show that the multidisciplinary cross national approach of SHARELIFE allows a much more Welfare state detailed understanding of life histories in Europe than was possible before.

All rights reserved. Life courses in Europe and the welfare state as such knowledge will contribute to improved governance and evidence-based policy design. Here, a look in the rear- Work, health, and family are key determinants of our view mirror can enhance our grasp of individual behav- well-being e. It is well-known that to its key determinants e. The well-being of the people today and how especially, if it is possible to implement certain steps to it will change due to societal challenges can be fully mitigate or alter them.

Understanding the mechanisms understood only from an interdisciplinary life course through which policy interventions may be responsible for perspective Graham, , which takes the individual individual and country differences is of utmost importance and the societal level into account. On the individual level, we observe links between different domains across the entire life course: e. Brandt , MSchroeder diw. Conceptually, there are and political contexts. First and foremost, long term relations within and across different life course domains a links within life course domains from early to later have to be disentangled on an individual level.

Only then it e. Such contextual prise and a methodological challenge which is only differences are visible across countries, but also within possible when detailed comparative life course informa- countries over time. For example, adverse contextual tion exists. Welfare states may as well as to changes in the contextual environment. Again, we can differenti- they result in changes in various outcomes. The combination regulations, but also b on the labour market situation of a of all data collection efforts gives a detailed picture of the couple, which is also affected by how d different status of each individual in —, —, and maternity leave regulations might additionally change — plus a view across the entire life course in the labour market attachment of women, and consequent- ly also the division of labour within a household.

See www. It circumstances of older Europeans and the effect of welfare introduces eight innovative interdisciplinary studies based state interventions can only be understood from a life on the comparative SHARELIFE data. They explore some course perspective and not by comparing concurrent key connections between different domains of life and policies and outcomes e. Some interventions offset and others amplify each quences of involuntary job loss due to plant closures and other, and they may have cumulative effects over the life lay-offs controlling for early life conditions.

Second, SHARELIFE uses a multidisciplinary ap- such unemployment experiences lead to worse health proach that explicitly accounts for the interactions conditions more than 25 years later, and affect men and mentioned before, i. Morten Wahrendorf, David Blane, Mel domains such as health, employment and family histories. Bartley, Nico Dragano, and Johannes Siegrist analyse the These long-term interactions are crucial in creating link between working conditions in mid-life and mental different old age outcomes.

Third, we base our analyses health and depression in older ages based on the demand- on cross-national comparisons to take account of general control-support and the effort-reward imbalance model.

Work & Happiness: The Human Cost of Welfare - Full Video

These women are on average periods of happiness. It allows detail. Housing wealth belongs to the most important assessing individual life courses and the effect of welfare non-pension assets of people aged 50 and over in Europe. The US Health and complementary roles.