Welfare State Changes and Outcomes: the Cases of Portugal and Denmark from a Comparative Perspective

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    Abstract

    It is well known that welfare states ensure a certain level of social protection affecting levels of well-being and the extent of inequalities in society. Changes within crucial domains of social policy, such as education, health, or social protection, have, therefore, a major effect upon individuals’ opportunities. In this article I compare the effects of these changes in two countries from the mid-1980s to the financial crisis of 2008. Portugal that was a latecomer in welfare state development and Denmark was at the forefront of de-commodification and universalization of social rights. The conclusion of this article is that income inequality has been steadily increasing in Danish society; while in Portugal, despite improvements in many social domains (healthcare, poverty alleviation, unemployment protection), problems of inequality remain deeply embedded in the country’s social and institutional structures.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSocial Policy and Administration
    Volume49
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)1-23
    Number of pages23
    ISSN0144-5596
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Welfare state regimes
    • Welfare state outcomes
    • Inequality
    • Portugal
    • Denmark

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