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More than just Welfare Transfers? A Review of the Scope of Esping-Andersen's Welfare Regime Typology

  • Daniel Buhr (a1) and Volquart Stoy (a2)
Abstract

With the Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (TWWC) Gøsta Esping-Andersen (1990) intended to provide a comprehensive typology covering welfare regimes as well as their effects on the economy. However, the initial TWWC-framework fell short of its promises as it ignored welfare services and the industrial sector of the economy. In the last twenty-five years many studies have analysed these previously overlooked aspects. In this article we review this research. We find that most empirical studies on welfare services, as well as on the economy, confirm the validity of the TWWC typology. However, insufficient attention has been paid to exposing the interplay between the different areas. In the second part of the article we provide two alternative explanations for the linkage between welfare regime and capitalism typologies. There is evidence for a functionalist explanation as proposed by the Varieties-of-Capitalism (VoC) framework, as well as for a political explanation delivered by the power resources approach.

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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
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