This article draws on an earlier ETUI Working Paper by the author (see Wagner, 2011).
Financing social security in the EU: Business as usual?
Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
Copyright © The author 2012 Journal compilation © International Labour Organization 2012
International Labour Review
Special Issue: The Crisis, Inequalities and Social Policy in the European Union
Volume 151, Issue 4, pages 333–349, December 2012
How to Cite
WAGNER, N. (2012), Financing social security in the EU: Business as usual?. International Labour Review, 151: 333–349. doi: 10.1111/j.1564-913X.2012.00152.x
Responsibility for opinions expressed in signed articles rests solely with their authors, and publication does not constitute an endorsement by the ILO.
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
- social security financing;
- social security policy;
- economic recession;
- EU countries
This article assesses how well welfare models with different financing mechanisms cope with a major financial crisis. It focuses on five EU countries, which represent different welfare models. It also analyses how the crisis and the associated stimulus or austerity measures changed financing, revealing a regressive impact. It demonstrates that, in the short- or medium-term, contribution-based social systems have more stable public finances during a recession than tax-based systems. That said, the corporatist/continental welfare model seems most likely to remain stable in the long run, in so far as it focuses on keeping employment – the system's main source of revenue – stable.