Welfare reform and capitalist growth strategies

New book from OUP, edited by Anke Hassel and Bruno Palier, draws links between capitalism, welfare and growth.


A new book edited by Anke Hassel, Professor of Public Policy at the Hertie School,  and Bruno Palier, CNRS Research Director at Sciences Po, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, explores how welfare reforms are related to the growth strategies of  advanced capitalist economies. The book, Growth and Welfare in Advanced Capitalist Economies, was published in January 2021 by Oxford University Press.

The book examines how welfare policies ­­– like tax incentives for private pension savings and housing investments, or skills development through education that supports employment – have played a strong role in the growth strategies of advanced capitalist economies since the 1990s.

With contributions from some of today’s most prominent scholars on the topic, the book takes stock of major economic challenges in advanced industrial democracies and their governments’ responses. It explores how political economies have transformed over the past decades, analyses government contributions to these changes by looking at their growth strategies, and examines the role of welfare system reforms. 

The authors identify five main growth regimes, three export-led and two domestic demand-led. They argue that all political economies consist of growth regimes, which are  based on institutions that shape the supply side of the economy, as well as on drivers of demand like government spending and private consumption. It explores the idea of welfare reforms as growth strategies in an era characterised by economic financialization – the increasing role of the financial sector in the economy, shifting away from industrialisation – and the rise of the knowledge economy.


Sonja Avlijaš, Institute for Economic Sciences, Belgrade, and the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) at Sciences Po, Paris 
Lucio Baccaro, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies 
Tom Chevalier, Research Center Arènes 
Peter A. Hall, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
Anke Hassel, Hertie School
Alison Johnston, Oregon State University 
Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University
Bruno Palier, Sciences Po, Centre d'études européennes et de politique comparée 
Georg Picot, University of Bergen 
Jonas Pontusson, University of Geneva
Alexander Reisenbichler, University of Toronto
Fritz W. Scharpf, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
Kathleen Thelen, MIT and the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, Germany 
Anne Wren, Trinity College Dublin

Find the book from Oxford University Press here.

The Hertie School is not responsible for any content linked or referred to from these pages.
Views expressed by the author/interviewee may not necessarily reflect the views and values of the Hertie School.


More about Anke Hassel