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Towards productive welfare? A comparative analysis of 23 OECD countries
Journal of European Social Policy
  • John HUDSON, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Stefan KÜHNER, University of York, United Kingdom
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
SAGE Publications
  • fuzzy set ideal type analysis,
  • productification,
  • productive welfare,
  • welfare state typologies

Numerous analysts have suggested that globalization and the emergence of more knowledge-based economies have encouraged high-income nations to shift towards a model of productive welfare focused on social investment, yet typologies of welfare are still largely drawn on the basis of measures of social protection rather than social investment. Here we develop a classification of welfare state types that incorporates both productive and protective elements of social policy. Using fuzzy set ideal type analysis we explore data for a sample of 23 OECD countries in three time points: 1994, 1998 and 2003. Our findings provide no more than very modest support for claims that welfare states are shifting from protective to productive modes of provision and, in many cases, we identify a shift in the alternative direction. In addition, we identify some nations that are clearly productive in their focus and others that manage to combine productive and protective features.

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Citation Information
Hudson, J., & Kühner, S. (2009). Towards productive welfare? A comparative analysis of 23 OECD countries. Journal of European Social Policy, 19(1), 34-36. doi: 10.1177/0958928708098522