Anton Hemerijck

Growth models, family demography, standing welfare commitment and social investment reform

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: I38 - Government policy, provision and effect of welfare provision; J11 - Demographic trends, macroeconomic effects; E60 - General Macroeconomic Policy.

This contribution explores two queries: a theoretical probe and an empirical inference. First, there is the acknowledgement that the growth model literature, being substantive in orientation, allows for a fruitful intellectual engagement with comparative welfare research. Especially welcome is the effort of bringing macroeconomic demand and the redistributive struggles behind macro-economic management back into the welfare-work equation. Surprisingly, however, the growth-regime literature is silent on the macroeconomic importance of family demography. For the argument’s sake, an alternative conjecture is envisioned. On this score, the fiscal weight of standing welfare commitments conjures up a «productive constraint» for social investment welfare reform, potentially affecting growth strategies in path-shifting ways across a widening number of EU number welfare democracies, not merely the Nordics. Finally, from the perspective of 21st century welfare provision in a knowledge economy for an ageing society, I would reframe the nostalgic lament of low growth and secular stagnation in terms of the question of «how much» growth advanced capitalist democracies actually need to sustain inclusive welfare states? Two percent will do.

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