Economic efficiency versus social equality? The U.S. liberal model versus the European social model

Vicente Navarro, John Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article begins by challenging the widely held view in neoliberal discourse that there is a necessary trade-off between higher efficiency and lower reduction of inequalities: the article empirically shows that the liberal, U.S. model has been less efficient economically (slower economic growth, higher unemployment) than the social model in existence in the European Union and in the majority of its member states. Based on the data presented, the authors criticize the adoption of features of the liberal model (such as deregulation of their labor markets, reduction of public social expenditures) by some European governments. The second section analyzes the causes for the slowdown of economic growth and the increase of unemployment in the European Union - that is, the application of monetarist and neoliberal policies in the institutional frame of the European Union, including the Stability Pact, the objectives and modus operandi of the European Central Bank, and the very limited resources available to the European Commission for stimulating and distributive functions. The third section details the reasons for these developments, including (besides historical considerations) the enormous influence of financial capital in the E.U. institutions and the very limited democracy. Proposals for change are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-630
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 28 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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