Health and Health Inequalities: the Role of Welfare State Change
- Nadine Reibling (University of Siegen, Germany)
- Sigrun Olafsdottir (Boston University, United States)
- Claus Wendt (University of Siegen, Germany)
- Kenneth Nelson (Stockholm University, Sweden)
Comparative welfare state researchers are increasingly interested in how social policies affect health. Recent research shows that welfare state expansion contributed to improved population health in the beginning of the 20th century. Moreover, more generous and inclusive welfare state arrangements seem to result in less health inequalities. Most of this research conceptualized welfare states in terms of developments in cash benefits. However, as this year’s conference theme proposes, welfare states have become less transfer-oriented and more focused on arrangements more closely tied to human capital development.
This stream aims to explore the implication of this transformation of the welfare state for health and health inequalities:
- How does the transformation of the welfare states from cash to care affect the social determinants of health?
- What are the theoretical mechanisms linking social policies and health/health inequalities?
- What is the outcome of welfare state retrenchment on health?
- Are social investment strategies in early intervention (e.g. childcare, education, labor market activation) effective measures for reducing the persistent inequalities in health?
We invite both theoretical and empirical studies related to the issues above. Both comparative papers and single case studies are welcome.
〈 List of Stream Themes