The politics of shifting burdens: German fiscal welfare corporatism

  • Christine TrampuschEmail author


Shifting fiscal burdens between the federal budget and social insurance funds served as an important stabilizer of Germany’s welfare corporatism and was supported by political parties of different colours as well as by social partners. On the one hand, it helped to offload the costs of industrial restructuring onto the social insurance budget, which removed from employers and unions the burden of coping with this challenge by wage policies; on the other hand, it relieved the Finance Minister from having to raise taxes in order to tackle labour market problems. However, over time the very success of these fiscal moves triggered the breakdown of German welfare corporatism. The chapter’s main lesson is that the fiscal perspective contributes to a better understanding of endogenously generated change in the welfare state because it helps to spotlight the exhaustion triggered by negative feedback as a mechanism of transformative change.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität zu Köln, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, CCCPKölnGermany

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