Is globalisation undermining the welfare state?

Vicente Navarro, John Schmitt, Javier Astudillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper analyses the evolution of the welfare states in the majority of OECD countries during the pre-globalisation (1946-80) and globalisation (1980-2000) periods. Our purpose is to find out whether globalisation has produced a convergence towards a smaller welfare state, funded increasingly by non-mobile factors such as labour, property and consumption rather than by mobile factors such as capital. The data presented here challenge the claims about such a convergence, showing that social public expenditures and public employment have continued to expand during the globalisation period in most OECD countries. We also show that the welfare states remain rooted in the political traditions that have governed them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-152
Number of pages20
JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004



  • Economic globalisation
  • Labour markets
  • Political economy
  • Welfare states

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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