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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2012): Welfare state - overseas

Attitudes among the Finnish population towards the Nordic welfare state in 2009

A. Muuri, K. Manderbacka and M. Elovainio

Nordic Social Work Research, vol.2, 2012, p. 59-72

In recent years there have been increasing signs of a weakening in the principle of universalism in the Nordic welfare state. There have been problems in access to both social welfare and health services and more user fees have been introduced. There has also been a trend towards an increased supply of private health and social services charged for at market rates. However analysis of data gathered in a population-based survey conducted in 2009, 'Welfare and services in Finland' showed that people wanted to maintain the most important features of the Nordic welfare state, such as the pivotal role of the public sector in the production and funding of services.

The effectiveness of government expenditure on education and health care in the Caribbean

R. Craigwell, D. Bynoe and S. Lowe

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 11, 2012, p. 4-18

Many studies have shown that efficient and sufficient allocation of government resources to education and health care encourages human development and economic growth and reduces poverty. Although government expenditure on education and health is high in the Caribbean, few papers have evaluated its effectiveness. This paper seeks to fill the gap by determining the impact of government spending on health status and educational attainment in 19 Caribbean countries for the period 1995-2009 using the panel ordinary least squares estimation method. Results showed that health expenditure had a significant positive impact on health status, while spending on education had no appreciable influence on either primary or secondary school enrolment.

European capitalist welfare societies: the challenge of sustainability

P. Frericks and R. Maier

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

This book offers an analysis of European capitalist welfare societies, centering on the questions of sustainability and the financing of social rights. Capitalism is defined as a multi-model economy, comprising a market economy (including production, distribution and exchange), a state welfare economy (based on compulsory transfers, such as taxes and social contributions), a household economy and a voluntary economy. The resources for the welfare economy are produced by some activities of the life course, and used by other activities, once rights over these resources are acquired. Setting out a new conceptual framework that integrates an adapted version of the theory of instituted economic processes with the changing structuration of the life course in European countries, the book argues that European capitalist welfare societies are not sustainable in their present form and that the future financing of social rights is conditional on substantial transformations. The book also analyzes relevant data on the socio-economic positioning of women and migrants.

Social enterprises, models of governance and the production of welfare services

L. Fazzi

Public Management Review, vol. 14, 2012, p. 359-376

Social enterprises are widespread in Europe, with the most common type in Italy being social cooperatives. Some social enterprises are run by paid professional workers while others are governed by a mix of workers, volunteers and representatives of the local community. Some scholars have proposed that these multi-stakeholder social enterprises have specific competitive advantages compared to social enterprises run solely by paid professionals. This article reports the results of a survey of Italian social cooperatives which explored the question. It concludes that multi-stakeholder social enterprises incorporate elements that, if properly managed, can enhance the production of welfare services, such as a concern for community needs, greater capacity for innovation, and mechanisms for the direct involvement of stakeholders that can increase productivity.

Social versus corporate welfare: competing needs and interests within the welfare state

K. Farnsworth

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

The greatest myth of modern times is the suggestion that capitalism and corporations do better with less government. The global economic crisis has certainly put paid to this idea. But the massive emergency state bailouts and interventions put in place from 2008 were unique only in their size and scale. Government programmes, designed to meet the needs of business, are not just everyday, they are everywhere and they are essential. Just as social welfare protects citizens from the cradle to the grave, corporate welfare protects and benefits corporations throughout their life course. And yet, in most countries, corporate welfare is hidden and under researched. Drawing on comparative data from OECD states, this book seeks to shed light on the size, uses and importance of corporate welfare across various welfare regimes.

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