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Comparing Welfare Regime Changes: Living Standards and the Unequal Life Chances of Different Birth Cohorts

  • Louis ChauvelEmail author
Conference paper

Abstract

This article focuses on generational sustainability in welfare states and aims to analyse the long-term consequences that the reforms1 carried out by these states have on the different cohorts. It is shown that in the context of conjuncture fluctuation, from the “economic miracle” (1945–1975) to the slowdown in economic growth (1975 until today),2 a gap appeared between those who were exposed to a high rate of youth unemployment and its resulting consequences and those who were not, i.e. generations born before 1955 (the early baby boomers) and the generations born after 1955. This gap between generations would often be denied by the politicians in the public debate. These points of view imply that these generational dynamics could have major consequences for the stability of our welfare states. Furthermore, what we have observed in France in the emergence of strong inter-cohort inequalities at the expense of young adults is not seen in America. In America, the same stressors (economic slowdown and increasing competition) have resulted in a less visible inter-cohort, but a more obvious intra-cohort inequality.

Keywords

Labour Market Unemployment Rate Welfare State Wage Earner Youth Unemployment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po Paris)Observatory for Social ChangeParis Cedex 07France

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