CES: The Welfare State with Private Alternatives: The Transformation of Popular Support for Social Insurance


Friday, April 13, 2018, 2:15pm to 4:00pm


Adolphus Busch Hall, Hoffman Room
  • Marius R. Busemeyer – Professor of Political Science, University of Konstanz
  • Torben Iversen – Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy and CES Faculty Associate, Harvard University
  • Steffen Mau – Professor of Macrosociology, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; Visiting Scholar, CES, Harvard University


** Please note: Those planning to attend events in this series should read the paper that will be posted on the CES website before the seminar.**


Private alternatives to the public provision of welfare state services and benefits have expanded in almost all OECD countries over the past decades. The paper studies how this change affects patterns of public support for the welfare state and, in the long term, the political sustainability of solidaristic social policies. The core argument is that the availability of private alternatives undermines support for public provision of social insurance policies, in particular among the middle and upper income classes, whose political support is crucial for the political viability of the universalist welfare state regime. Its tests the theoretical claim empirically with survey data from the ISSP Role of Government module for 20 OECD countries.



The Welfare State with Private Alternatives: the Transformation of Popular Support for Social Insurance

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Online Appendix

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