Growth and the Welfare State as We Know It



This chapter turns to the discussion of the evolution of welfare states in Western capitalism—one of the (bundles of) institutions that have become so relevant for supporting many aspects of people’s wellbeing. It demonstrates the close interdependencies between growth and the welfare state. Economic growth, especially after World War II, freed up resources to finance welfare states and facilitate greater “social peace”. Welfare state finances depend on a growth-generating economy to be sustained since taxes and social security contributions rise and fall with economic up- and downturns. The chapter also reviews the relationship between welfare regimes and environmental protection but finds that growth remains to be the main driver of environmental impacts.


Welfare state Welfare regimes Growth Environmental policies 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Lund UniversityLundSweden

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