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By Ian Gough, Alfred Pfaller, Goran Therborn

The authors study how the us, nice Britain, France, Sweden and Germany have spoke back to the expanding problem of foreign festival because the mid-1970s. except in Sweden, the pursuit of competitiveness has undermined fiscal and social citizenship rights, and this has, in Britain and america, engendered an attack upon the assumption of the welfare nation. cohesion and social self-discipline can be critically demonstrated if the welfare nation is to stay economically and politically conceivable in a hugely aggressive glossy world.

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To take one example, economic growth from 1973 to 1987 could not be meaningfully related to social expenditure in the base year. But in order not to let the long time period slip out of sight we may resort to the somewhat dubious procedure of using an average value of welfare statism during this long period. 15. Its vertical scale shows the arithmetic mean of our tax load indicators for 1975 (1973 is not available), 1979 and 1986, its horizontal scale the average annual growth rates of the Gross Domestic Products.

13). 9, of the seven Competitiveness of Industrialised Welfare States 30 s. c;) 80 coI 0) ..... 9 Synthetic index of welfare statism and manufacturing productivity growth in the 1980s countries with the highest score on welfare statism six are placed on the low performers' side of the productivity growth scale. In turn, all the low-scoring countries except Canada are found on the high growth side. This finding seems to lend support to the notion that freedom from market sanctions- resulting from full employment plus high social expenditures- tends to relax workers' application to their work, thus reducing productivity (cf.

11, supports an alternative hypothesis that enterprises respond to rising welfare state costs with increased efforts to improve productivity, including increased substitution of capital for labour. But we might also venture the hypothesis that those countries who experienced a satisfactory growth of productivity were more inclined to extend their welfare state, while in the different ideological climate of the 1980s such ambitions had vanished. In any case, the contradictory findings for the 1970s and 1980s cast further doubt on the notion of 'iron law' -type unconditional economic mechanisms which link welfare statism to a nation's competitiveness.

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