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Week 2 Study Notes Esping Anderson.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC220H1
Professor
Josh Curtis

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Week 2 Reading Notes: Esping Anderson • Social insurance ­ no attempt to redistribute between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ o Aim is to smooth lifetime income and guarantee well­being in the face of bad luck (like illness)  or foreseeable need (like old age) • The Robin Hood dimension is exemplified by vertical redistribution and the degree of  equalization will depend partly  o On the progressivity of the tax system o On the degree to which social benefits go disproportionately to the least well­off • We need to be especially attentive to three basic issues 1. Welfare states embrace distinct redistributive principles, some of which may promote more  equality of outcomes or of opportunities, while others may actually work in the opposite direction 2. The income data that we routinely use pick up only a part of the overall welfare state effect.  3. The most interesting impact of welfare states may in fact be their influence on the ‘virgin’  primary distribution Theories of Welfare State Redistribution • If the welfare state is primarily an insurer, its role in creating equality would appear irrelevant • But there are three kinds of social risks, each with its unique redistributive logic: life course  risks, inter­generational risks, and class risks • targeted welfare states are, relatively speaking, more biased in favor of vertical redistribution • Since income inequality declined in tandem with welfare state consolidation, and since there is a  fairly strong cross­national correlation between welfare state size and equality, the ‘size­redistribution  thesis’ appears credible Welfare State Design and Welfare Regimes • Citizens obtain welfare from three basic sources: markets, family, and government. • welfare regime – full context of welfare production and consumption • By guaranteeing generous benefits to participants, the policy gives huge incentives to 
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