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Workers, worries and welfare states: Social protection and job insecurity in 15 OECD countries


Christopher J. Anderson, Department of Government, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA. E-mail:


Abstract.  This article examines a model of the domestic political economy of subjective employment insecurity in advanced industrial societies. Based on data on people's attitudes toward their job as well as levels of and kinds of social protection collected in 15 OECD countries, it shows that there are distinct manifestations of job insecurity that are affected differently by distinct aspects of social protection programs. While the analysis shows that social protection measures reduce employment insecurity, it also reveals that overall levels welfare state generosity do not have any systematic effect on whether workers feel secure. The article's findings suggest the need to decompose the different components of employment insecurity as well as disaggregate national systems of social protection when examining the impact of welfare states on job insecurity.