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Transformations of the Welfare StateSmall States, Big Lessons$
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Herbert Obinger, Peter Starke, Julia Moser, Claudia Bogedan, Edith Gindulis, and Stephan Leibfried

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296323

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296323.001.0001

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Denmark: The Survival of a Social Democratic Welfare State

Denmark: The Survival of a Social Democratic Welfare State

(p.80) 2 Denmark: The Survival of a Social Democratic Welfare State
Transformations of the Welfare State

Herbert Obinger

Peter Strake

Julia Moser

Claudia Bogedan

Edith Gindulis

Stephan Leibfried

Oxford University Press

According to the efficiency hypothesis, the high-spending, high-tax welfare state in Denmark should be under considerable strain in the era of globalization and socio-economic modernization. Indeed, the Danish welfare state has seen a lot of changes in the last three decades. Most of these changes, however, have not been in line with the expectations of the efficiency thesis. The universal and generous nature of the system has largely been preserved. Furthermore, Denmark has been able to overcome a major socio-economic crisis without relinquishing its commitment to the Scandinavian welfare model. The current cyclical crisis stems from a huge decline in exports. As a consequence, unemployment escalated in the first half of 2009. However, because of its previously excellent labour market performance, Denmark still has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the European Union. This chapter examines welfare state changes in Denmark in four policy sectors in the years from 1973 onwards.

Keywords:   Denmark, welfare state, welfare state reforms, Social Democrats, labour market policy, pensions, health care, family policy

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