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The welfare state and globalisation: down and out or too tough to die?

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Politicians as well as researchers frequently claim that globalisation – and in particular its economic dimension – poses a threat to the welfare state. This article examines whether such a claim is justified by the empirical studies that investigate the relationship between economic openness and the welfare state. Based on the literature, two contrasting hypotheses are distinguished: the first states that economic openness does threaten the welfare state and the second argues that this is not the case. The empirical studies are systematically reviewed in this article: the analysis shows that the second hypothesis is supported most often and it is therefore concluded that economic openness does not threaten the welfare state.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Leiden University, The Netherlands

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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