New evidence on the effect of partisanship on the welfare state

  • Carsten JensenEmail author
  • Georg Wenzelburger


A core question of comparative political economy is whether government ideology still affects policy, or if government policies rather are directed by economic necessities – especially in times of crisis. This chapter revisits this fundamental question of welfare state dynamics by using new and more fine-grained data based on legislative changes to two major welfare programmes – unemployment insurance and old age pensions – in five Western industrialized countries during the last 40 years. The new dataset enables us to revisit empirically some of the major theoretical and most disputed claims put forward by the different strands of the welfare state literature. Our results support the ‘new politics’ thesis according to which the partisan effect of governments have declined from the 1970s until today.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aarhus UniversitetAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Universität KaiserslauternKaiserslautenGermany

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