How does economic globalisation affect the welfare state? Focusing on the mediating effect of welfare regimes

Tae Kuen Kim, Karen Zurlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years the impact of globalisation on the welfare state has become a major issue in comparative policy studies. Some empirical studies demonstrate a negative relationship between globalisation and the welfare state, while others show adverse findings or a non-significant relationship. The impact of globalisation, however, can be neither uniform nor unidirectional because of the differences in the political economies of individual welfare states. Welfare regimes reflect qualitative differences in arrangements of welfare institutions and the associated enduring configuration of the welfare nexus, suggesting that welfare regimes may influence the impact of globalisation on the welfare state. We scrutinise the relationship between globalisation and the welfare state by sampling 18 affluent countries from 1980 to 2001 and concentrating on the mediating effect of three welfare regime types. Our study provides a comprehensive examination of the relationship between globalisation and the welfare state using a state-of-the-art analytical technique - the mixed-effect model. Findings suggest that welfare regimes respond differently to the impact of globalisation and therefore mediate the relationship between globalisation and the welfare state. Globalisation negatively affects the welfare state in a social democratic regime, while it marginally affects the welfare state in liberal and conservative regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-141
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • Gglobalisation
  • Mediating effect
  • Mixed-effectmodel
  • Welfar estate
  • Welfare regime

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