Economic inequality and the welfare state
DOI link for Economic inequality and the welfare state
Economic inequality and the welfare state book
Welfare states are hardly limited to Europe and there are major differences between different welfare states. This chapter shows how these differences have been understood in terms of different worlds of welfare, so that the structural differences between national European societies are at least in part because of their different welfare states. It shows how the welfare state has been central to limiting economic inequality within Europe. The chapter also shows the varying extent to which national welfare states have been able to limit poverty and social exclusion. Differences between societies were seen as essentially a consequence of the stage of economic development. By the 1990s scholars accepted that differences between national welfare states were largely self-perpetuating and national developments were path dependent. In a European welfare state nearly everyone at some stage of their life will pay some tax and a surprisingly large number will receive some benefits.