The European Single Currency Project and the Concept of Convergence for European Welfare States - The Ideal and the Reality

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Abstract

Using a country comparative case based methodology that combines the methods of Cluster Analysis and Qualitative Comparative Analysis, this article examines whether there is any quantitative evidence that countries which are members of the euro currency have experienced a convergence of the outputs and outcome of the European welfare state for euro member countries. The analysis concludes there is little evidence of a holistic euro based convergence of either welfare outputs or outcome. It is argued that outputs such as full employment, equity of health care provision, poverty reduction and educational attainment might reasonably be expected to converge in the longer term, but only if the euro crisis results in a much more planned and coordinated interventionist policy approach to the macro political economy. An outcome, however, such as subjective well-being, is potentially influenced by other historical and cultural factors and is only partially determined by macro political economic policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-489
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Policy & Administration
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

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Euro
currency
welfare state
full employment
policy approach
cultural factors
cluster analysis
Economic Policy
evidence
political economy
equity
well-being
welfare
poverty
health care
methodology

Bibliographical note

This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Haynes, P. 2015. The European Single Currency Project and the Concept of Convergence for European Welfare States - The Ideal and the Reality. Social Policy & Administration, 44 (4), 466-489, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/spol.12143/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Keywords

  • European convergence
  • Comparative policy

Cite this

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abstract = "Using a country comparative case based methodology that combines the methods of Cluster Analysis and Qualitative Comparative Analysis, this article examines whether there is any quantitative evidence that countries which are members of the euro currency have experienced a convergence of the outputs and outcome of the European welfare state for euro member countries. The analysis concludes there is little evidence of a holistic euro based convergence of either welfare outputs or outcome. It is argued that outputs such as full employment, equity of health care provision, poverty reduction and educational attainment might reasonably be expected to converge in the longer term, but only if the euro crisis results in a much more planned and coordinated interventionist policy approach to the macro political economy. An outcome, however, such as subjective well-being, is potentially influenced by other historical and cultural factors and is only partially determined by macro political economic policy.",
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