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Jørgen Goul Andersen

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Jørgen Goul Andersen

The chapter assesses the challenge of globalization for the sustainability of the Nordic welfare states. It discusses the role of globalization in an observed trend towards higher inequality in the Nordic countries; whether globalization has put more pressure on minimum wages; whether the Nordic countries face a ‘race to the bottom’ of taxes; and, finally, whether these countries face problems with competitiveness and economic performance. Based on analysis of data over several decades it appears that globalization seems overall to offer more opportunities than threats. There is hardly any evidence that globalization leads to much larger wage dispersion, and the Nordic countries have so far kept up with the challenge of high minimum wages. When considering the challenges of taxes and competitiveness, the comprehensive Nordic welfare states perform better than most countries. Public attitudes towards globalization are generally positive. The biggest challenges appear to be integration of low-skilled immigrant refugees in the workforce, and to maintain high minimum wages.

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Edited by Heikki Ervasti, Jørgen Goul Andersen, Torben Fridberg and Kristen Ringdal

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Heikki Ervasti, Jørgen Goul Andersen and Kristen Ringdal

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The Future of the Welfare State

Social Policy Attitudes and Social Capital in Europe

Edited by Heikki Ervasti, Jørgen Goul Andersen, Torben Fridberg and Kristen Ringdal

At a time when welfare states in Europe are coming under increasing pressure from both growing demand and, in some countries, severe financial austerity measures, the attitudes of ordinary people and European social cohesion are much debated. Using data from the European Social Survey, these empirical analyses examine welfare state attitudes and draw conclusions for the future. Theoretically the book is linked to analyses of altering social risks, policy challenges, policy changes and policy performance of the European welfare states. The analyses in the book explore a variety of individual and macro-level determinants of welfare policy attitudes ranging from socio-economic factors to religiosity, but a special emphasis is laid on solidarity, social cohesion and social capital among European nations.