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Contracts for or against employment?

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

Links between generational welfare contracts and employment outcomes are analyed in this chapter. Poorly functioning labor markets pose serious threats to positive-sum solutions in generational politics. The dominating view in mainstream behavioral economics has come to portray comprehensive welfare states as causing major obstacles for labor market performance and employment growth, thus indirectly raising concerns about the long-term sustainability of balanced generational welfare contracts. The empirical results presented in this chapter strongly challenge such ideas and rather point in the direction of portraying balanced generational welfare contracts as an important social investment. Unemployment appears to be largely unrelated to the ways in which countries have organized their generational welfare contracts, whereas labor force participation tends to be higher in countries where income replacement in social insurance is more extensive, as in countries with balanced generational welfare contracts.

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Contracts for life satisfaction and happiness

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

Subjective well-being is seldom found among the explicit goal dimensions of policy, and may thus best be viewed as an unintended consequence of social policymaking. The chapter is guided by the idea that subjective well-being may provide important clues to the authors’ investigation of generational welfare contracts. Using new comparative attitudinal data on happiness and life satisfaction, the authors’ analyses indicate that the generational structure of social citizenship indeed is related to subjective well-being. In all countries, the clear majority of citizens are happy and satisfied with life. However, people tend to be somewhat happier and satisfied with life in countries with balanced generational welfare contracts, although cross-national differences are somewhat compressed. An important institutional mechanism appears to be the overall level of income replacement in age-related social insurance, which tends to be higher in countries with balanced generational welfare contracts.

Open access

Contracts against poverty

Justice, Institutions and Outcomes

Simon Birnbaum, Tommy Ferrarini, Kenneth Nelson and Joakim Palme

The capacity of the welfare state to reduce poverty is a classical goal of social policy. The empirical analyses in this chapter demonstrate how institutional structures shaping generational welfare contracts are mirrored in poverty statistics. Poverty tends to be lower in countries with balanced generational welfare contracts. Differences in poverty between age-related risk categories are also comparatively small among countries with balanced generation welfare contracts. The degree to which social insurance is balanced and provides for similar levels of protection for different age-related social risks thus appears crucial for the anti-poverty effects of modern welfare states. At higher poverty thresholds, age-related imbalances in social insurance exert a downward pressure on replacement levels, with higher poverty rates as a consequence. This is observed in the analyses of both total populations and in each age-related risk category.

Open access

Jeffrey L. McClellan

As there is not much in the academic literature of leadership that explores the historical and foundational roots of leadership culture within specific countries, this paper seeks to address this void. It does so by providing a conceptual model for exploring leadership cultural foundations by examining the motives, goals, and means of influence of leaders through an interdisciplinary review of the literature on social life in precolonial Ecuador. It then applies this model to understanding leadership in the precolonial societies of modern day Ecuador. In doing so, this article summarizes what is known about leadership within these precolonial societies, at the time just prior to the arrival of the Inca and the Spanish, in order to propose a model of precolonial indigenous leadership in Ecuador.

Open access

Nathan Harter

Prospective leaders are frequently advised to know themselves. Such knowledge takes the form of an image, requiring the use of the imagination to create an identity based on some kind of self-concept. This process of looking inward is incomplete without also gaining critical distance from the self. Three prominent philosophers had offered heuristics to imagine oneself as somebody else. Plato asked, for example: what if you were no one – literally anonymous? How would that alter your perspective? Immanuel Kant suggested that you consider yourself and your situation from everyone's point of view and not just your own. And John Rawls asked, in regards to constituting a group or organization or even something so simple as a contract: what if you might be anyone, especially the least advantaged? Would the arrangement you presently favor seem fair to anyone? By adopting these heuristics and getting outside of one's self, a leader might avoid typical ethical failings and actually gain a more authentic self-concept.

Open access

Steven P. Dandaneau

How will land-grant universities fulfill their democratic mission in an era of declining public support? A case study of Milton S. Eisenhower's presidency of Kansas State College (1943–1950) explores the entrenched ideological tensions with which land-grant university leaders must still contend, and through historical analysis illustrates key elements in their past successful navigation. Recognized today more often for his fraternal relationship to the 34th President of the United States, this paper argues that Milton Eisenhower, four times a university president and a long-time public servant in his own right, is a leader from whom much can be learned. It is argued, furthermore, that today's public higher-education leaders face challenges similar to those faced by Eisenhower, the resolution of which will determine whether the democratic heritage articulated in the Morrill Act of 1862 is preserved or abandoned.

Open access

Michael Harvey

Open access

Michael Kemp, Edward Leamer, James Burrows and Powell Dixon

This chapter presents findings from a study exploring a variety of tactics intended to enhance respondent awareness of budget constraints in answering CV questions, including methods that value a composite good and allocate a total value across different parts of the composite. The research used, as a test bed, a prominent 1995 survey concerning the prevention and remediation of marine oil spills off the central California coast (the “COS study”). Approximately 2400 California households were surveyed online in 2014. Analysis of the responses to split-sample variants of the questionnaire produced the following conclusions: (1) the study evidenced a very marked lack of sensitivity to a huge scope difference (between the COS good and a much larger composite good); (2) the composite good estimate of WTP allocated to marine oil spills was markedly smaller than the single-focus estimate; (3) sizeable proportions of respondents reported various types of cognition difficulties in their responses, and the resulting WTP estimates are sensitive to those difficulties; (4) respondents presented a single-focus COS referendum after completing a budget allocation exercise were slightly less favorable to COS than those not given the budget exercise; (5) a sizeable proportion of respondents experienced cognition difficulties with part-whole relationships; and (6) within-questionnaire “wording additions” intended to enhance budget awareness had a relatively small effect on WTP estimates.