As this comprehensive Companion demonstrates, social economics is a dynamic and growing field that emphasizes the key role that values play in the economy and in economic life. Social economics treats the economy and economics as being embedded in the larger web of social and ethical relationships. It also regards economics and ethics as essentially connected, and adds values such as justice, fairness, dignity, well-being, freedom and equality to the standard emphasis on efficiency. The Elgar Companion to Social Economics brings together the leading contributors in the field to elucidate a wide range of recent developments across different subject areas and topics. In so doing the contributors also map the likely trends and directions of future research. This Companion will undoubtedly become a leading reference source and guide to social economics for many years to come.
Browse by title
Learning Liberalism and the Welfare State
The purpose of this book is to reconsider economic liberalism from the viewpoint of political liberalism. The author argues that advocates of economic liberalism largely overlook empirical political preferences which, in many societies, go far beyond a limited role of the state. Recent difficulties of reforming the welfare state provide evidence that political preferences are at odds with liberal economic policy in numerous cases. This fact challenges a political conception which demands a limited state role but also claims that citizens’ preferences ‘as they are’ should determine the content of policies. Using an evolutionary perspective on economic liberalism, the book develops new arguments about how economic liberalism can be brought into line with political liberalism.
Managing Labour Market Transitions and Risks
Transitional Labour Markets (TLM) – defined as legitimate, negotiated and politically supported sets of various employment options in critical events over the life course – are an essential ingredient of modern full employment strategies. After assessing the European Employment Strategy, this book offers a detailed comparative analysis of employment performance for selected European member states and the United States. It suggests that successful employment systems arise from a new paradigm of flexibility and security (‘flexicurity’) the balance of which varies according to countries’ institutional paths. Whilst there is no ‘best practice’, TLM theory does provide normative and analytical principles that can be generalised for various institutional settings. The book also provides good practice examples for managing critical transitions over the life course – from education to employment, from one job to another, from unemployment to employment, from private activities to gainful work and from employment to retirement – and develops the contours for extending unemployment insurance to work–life insurance.
Edited by Dirk Broeders, Sylvester Eiffinger and Aerdt Houben
How to deliver adequate pension benefits at reasonable costs is a huge challenge confronting our ageing societies. This book delivers a comprehensive overview of the latest insights into pension finance, pension system design, pension governance and risk based supervision. It combines state-of-the-art analyses with innovative policy proposals to increase the efficiency and resilience of pension systems and to advance these systems’ contribution to global financial stability. Renowned pension experts offer cutting-edge guidance for future decision making and the development of best practices. This exciting exploration of the frontiers in pension finance highlights key aspects of securing long term retirement provisions.
Edited by Robert L. Clark, Naohiro Ogawa and Andrew Mason
Population aging is a global phenomenon that influences not only the industrialized countries of Asia and the West, but also many middle- and low- income countries that have experienced rapid fertility decline and achieved long life expectancies. This book explores how workers and consumers are responding to population aging and examines how economic growth, generational equity, trade and international capital flows are influenced by population aging.
The welfare system in the United States underwent profound changes as a result of the groundbreaking welfare legislation passed in 1996 entitled The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). The Political Economy of Welfare Reform in the United States examines in detail the legislative process that gave rise to PRWORA and presents two alternative theories to explain this process; the traditional public interest model of government and the public choice model. On the basis of a detailed historical analysis of welfare programs and policies in the US, the author explains the two alternative theories and engages in a detailed institutional and statistical analysis to make a convincing argument for the validity of the public choice paradigm.
Measures, Public Private Partnerships and Benchmarking
Edited by Jaap de Koning
This book argues that active labour market policies are necessary to improve the position of the unemployed but have so far performed relatively poorly. The contributing authors seek ways to improve active labour market policy and consider three means of doing so: improving the quality by better targeting and by better-designed measures, more efficient implementation and delivery, and better performance by benchmarking the various implementation agencies involved.
Enlargement, Integration and Reform
Edited by Peter Leisink, Bram Stejin and Ulke Veersma
This book presents an evidence-based assessment of the impact of EU enlargement on industrial relations and social standards in old and new EU Member States. It combines chapters which give an overview of the process of enlargement/integration and comparative socio-economic data at EU and national level, with chapters that present an in-depth analysis of the impact of European integration on national industrial relations. These in-depth analyses cover both a number of old EU Member States in Western Europe and new Member States in Central and Eastern Europe. The book combines supranational European, Western and Eastern perspectives on the impact of European integration.
Edited by Hazel Bateman
The past few decades have witnessed a global move towards private provision for retirement through individual defined contribution pensions at the expense of publicly provided and employer-sponsored defined benefit pensions. As a consequence, workers and retirees are becoming increasingly exposed to uncertainties in financial, labour and economic markets. The contributors to this book analyse the implications for retirement income policy, workers and retirees in view of the current climate of heightened exposure to scary markets. The implications of a broad range of scary market scenarios are presented, and novel solutions prescribed. Retirement incomes across a number of countries including the US, the UK, Japan and Australia are explored.