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The triumph of the welfare state: The comparative political economy of poverty in Western nations, 1970--1999

Опубликовано на портале: 19-05-2004
David Owen Brady
Научный руководитель: Michael Wallace
Организация: Indiana University
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Социология, Экономическая социология, Экономическая социология: Социально-экономическая дифференциация. Бедность, Социальная стратификация

Understanding the nature and causes of poverty in Western nations from 1969 to 1997, is the focus of this dissertation. In chapter 2, I critique Sociology for relying on deficient poverty measures and advocate for more theoretically and methodologically rigorous measures. Using data from the Luxembourg Income Study, I estimate three indices of poverty, the Interval, Ordinal and Sum of Ordinals, for 70-71 cases. In Chapter 3, I outline and critique the liberal economic explanation, which dominates current discussions of poverty, and call for a broader, more sociological approach. In Chapter 4, I develop a comparative political economic approach as an alternative that utilizes a macro-level, historical perspective, frames the nation as an explanatory and comparative concept, and evaluates a multiplicity of interrelated causal mechanisms. Further, CPE focuses on historical change, ideology, inequality, political power, institutions, and the state. In the remainder of the dissertation, I model the determinants of Interval poverty with unbalanced panel random and fixed effects models. In Chapter 5, I investigate the impact of six features of the welfare state: welfare spending, social wages, health spending, public employment, military spending, and minimum wages. This chapter also examines the effect of welfare state regimes and historical periods. Ultimately, I conclude that the most important feature of the welfare state is welfare spending. In chapter 6, I test whether three additional factors are important to poverty: deindustrialization, demographic change, and political mobilization. Broadly, I find that these factors only modestly matter, and that the importance of the welfare state is enhanced. My dissertation undertakes a comprehensive study of the nature and determinants of comparative historical variation in poverty in Western nations. Overall, my dissertation addresses debates about the role of the state, the market, political forces and institutions in affecting the distribution of resources and the changing patterns of stratification within advanced industrial democracies.

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