How federalism influences welfare spending: Belgium federalism reform through the perspective of the synthetic control method

Arnold, Tobias; Stadelmann-Steffen, Isabelle (2017). How federalism influences welfare spending: Belgium federalism reform through the perspective of the synthetic control method. European journal of political research, 56(3), pp. 680-702. Blackwell Publishing 10.1111/1475-6765.12196

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The question of whether and how federalism influences a country's welfare state has been a longstanding concern of political scientists. However, no agreement exists on exactly how, and under what conditions, federal structures impact the welfare state. This article examines this controversy. It concludes theoretically that the specific constellation of federal structures and distribution of powers need to be considered when theorising the effects of federalism on the welfare state. Using the case of Belgium and applying the synthetic control method, it is shown in the article that without the federalism reform of 1993, the country would have had further decreases in social spending rather than a consolidation of this spending in the years after 1993. In the case of Belgium, the combination of increased subnational spending autonomy in a still national financing system provided ideal conditions for a positive federalism effect on social spending to occur.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Arnold, Tobias and Stadelmann, Isabelle

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

0304-4130

Publisher:

Blackwell Publishing

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tobias Arnold

Date Deposited:

17 Jul 2018 16:00

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2019 23:36

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/1475-6765.12196

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Belgien, Föderalismus, Wohlfahrtsstaat

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.117185

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/117185

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