National growth strategies and welfare state reforms.
Cycle de conférences co-organisées par le LAGAPE et l'IDHEAP. Conférence de Bruno Pallier (Sciences-Po Paris). Research in comparative political economy has shown that it is possible to establish consistent patterns between the structures of the economy, economic policies, employment policies, skill formation schemes and social protection systems. The paper identifies the various orientations for economic policies and social protection reforms in order to boost growth and create jobs in a period of deindustrialization since the late 1970s. We assume that, when analysing the interaction between growth strategies and welfare state reforms, we can identify distinct patterns in the strategies adopted, that are influenced by national production regimes and national social policy regimes. Policies implemented can however also contribute to transform the existing growth and welfare regimes. The dominant social institutions of a country interact with its production regime, leading to a specific type of economic specialization. Careful institutional analysis reveals that even between countries sharing similar production and welfare Regimes, national economic strategies differ. We argue that there are four different types of strategy, depending on the chosen engine of growth and the type of welfare state reforms. These strategies are not mutually exclusive; more than one strategy might be pursued in a country. Nevertheless, in many cases we find a dominant strategy which policy-makers rely on in the decision-making process.