Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2002): Welfare State - Overseas

REREGULATING BREADWINNER MODELS IN SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVE WELFARE SYSTEMS: COMPARING GERMANY AND JAPAN

H Gottfried and J O'Reilly

Social Politics, vol.9, 2002, p.29-59

Through a comparison between Japan and Germany, authors suggest that the legacy of the strong male breadwinner model creates particular pressures on socially conservative welfare states in a period of restructuring. In Japan and Germany trends such as growing unemployment, declining fertility and increased care required by the elderly are invoked to support calls to reinforce the male breadwinner model. At the same time, contrary trends such as women's rising education and growing labour shortages, are eroding this model. Under these pressures gender relations in the two countries are being re-regulated in different ways. Differences between Germany and Japan are related to the role of the Japanese state in trying to stem both economic and demographic decline on the one hand and the role of the social partners in Germany in stimulating employment growth and reducing unemployment on the other.

WELFARE STATE REGIMES AND MOTHERS' POVERTY

K Christopher

Social Politics, vol. 9, 2002, p.60-86

Mothers and single mothers generally have the lowest poverty rates in Sweden, Finland and France. The tax and benefits systems of Sweden and Finland are friendliest to all mothers, while those of Finland, the Netherlands and the UK are best for single mothers. With respect to employment supports like paid leave and subsidised childcare, Finland, Sweden and France have by far the most generous system. Thus mothers fare best in welfare states that support both their employment and care giving independent of the family.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web