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Enterprise and the Welfare State
The economic demands of an ageing population, coupled with the crisis of public spending pose one of the greatest challenges to social policy in both the East and West. This book focuses on the political economy of pensions, particularly on the interaction between private and state provision.
Enterprise and the Welfare State argues that there is more to welfare than simply provision by the state and so the focus of this book is on the welfare society rather than the welfare state. This requires a new system of statistical accounting and a different focus for case studies. A multidisciplinary approach is used to examine the design of the pensions system in nine countries with different institutional welfare mixes. Using a common conceptual framework, it compares and contrasts the goals and realities of the welfare systems in France, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden, where strong occupational pensions are in operation, with the more modest welfare states in Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each country case study provides a grounded analysis of the evolution of pension design and traces the impact of the policies on the economic well-being of the aged and the performance of the economy. It offers new data on the level of spending of enterprise based occupational pensions and examines the implications for redistribution resulting from changes in the design of state and occupational pensions.
This book will be essential reading for academics, students and public policymakers interested in the economics of welfare, social policy and the future of pension provision.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`. . . anyone who wants to be an expert in this field should read this book. There is nothing to be criticized in either the research or the presentation by the authors. Indeed, the chapters are well written. . . . Altogether I can enthusiastically recommend this book for people in this field. It is well written, comprehensive, and the result of much work.' -- Gordon Tullock, Journal of Comparative Economics `The analysis is both informative and important. . . . this account of changing pension policies in the industrial nations is a significant addition to the literature.' -- Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare `I wholly recommend this book to anyone interested in a well-written examination of the pensions provision of the countries covered.' -- Ivan K. Cohen, The Economic Journal `Throughout the OECD, welfare states are being transformed, as governments attempt to reduce their commitments in response to budgetary pressures. It is commonly supposed that, as a result, the provision of welfare services will be rolled back. Within this troubled context, Enterprise and the Welfare State is a breath of fresh air. It highlights that the state is not the only possible provider of welfare. Enterprises and households can fulfill this role as well, provided that the legal and institutional framework is appropriate. The book provides a wealth of multidisciplinary information about how this partnership between the public and private sectors may be conducted. In this respect, the book is vital reading not only for policy makers and academics, but for anyone keen to understand how the interplay between the government and the market is evolving in the world around us.' -- Dennis J. Snower, Birkbeck College, UK `This is a very timely book given the worldwide discussion these days of pension reform and privatization. It should prove extremely useful to academics and policymakers concerned with the future of the welfare state in general and the reform of social security programs in particular.' -- Lee Rainwater, Harvard University, US