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Globalization and the Welfare State: Four Hypotheses and Some Empirical Evidence

Paul Bowles and Barnet Wagman
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Barnet Wagman: University of Northern British Columbia

Eastern Economic Journal, 1997, vol. 23, issue 3, 317-336

Abstract: This paper examines some implications of the 'new globalism' for the welfare state. We examine four hypotheses about globalization and their implications for welfare state spending: the 'downward harmonization', 'upward convergence', 'convergence clubs' and 'globalization irrelevance' hypotheses. We provide evidence concerning these hypotheses by examining changes in the levels of welfare state spending for a subset of OECD countries. We find some evidence for a convergence of welfare state spending, not universally, but among countries with similar political institutions. Domestic political institutions, therefore, may affect the way in which countries respond to globalization pressures.

Keywords: Globalism; Globalization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F02 H11 H53 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997
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Eastern Economic Journal is currently edited by Cynthia A. Bansak, St. Lawrence University and Allan A. Zebedee, Clarkson University

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:3:p:317-336