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Welfare and Work in the Open Economy Volume I: From Vulnerability to Competitiveness in Comparative Perspective$
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Fritz W. Scharpf and Vivien A. Schmidt

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199240883

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199240884.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Welfare and Work in the Open Economy Volume I: From Vulnerability to Competitiveness in Comparative Perspective

Fritz W. Scharpf (Contributor Webpage)

Vivien A. Schmidt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter briefly sets the background for the comparative chapters by discussing the common challenges faced by the post‐war welfare state, beginning in the 1970s with the end of the Bretton Woods system and the two oil crises, followed by the increasing competition in the capital and product markets in the l980s and 1990s. It then goes on to outline the differences among welfare states that help explain the differential trajectories of adjustment, including the structure of the formal welfare state and the regulation of employment; the locus of responsibility for caring services – in the family, the state, and/or the market; the organization of the industrial relations through coordinated or uncoordinated bargaining systems; and the nature of economic and political governance institutions.

Keywords:   bargaining, caring services, competition, employment, governance, industrial relations, oil crisis, welfare state, Bretton Woods

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