Divergence within Convergence: Europeanization of Social and Labour Market Policies

Journal of European Integration, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 269-290, 2010

23 Pages Posted: 29 May 2010 Last revised: 8 Jan 2015

See all articles by Olaf van Vliet

Olaf van Vliet

Leiden University - Leiden Law School; Leiden University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 28, 2010

Abstract

Since the adoption of the European Employment Strategy and the Lisbon strategy, convergence of social protection goals and labour market policies across EU countries features prominently on the European agenda. Embedded in convergence, Europeanisation and welfare state literature, this paper examines the role of European integration in changing social policies. It shows that since 1995, social expenditures of EU member states have converged and increased on average, whereas those of non-EU countries have diverged, corrected for cyclical and demographic effects. This EU-specific convergence pattern of social expenditures leads to the subsequent question whether or not national policies also have converged. Relying on disaggregated expenditure data and policy indicators, this study shows an EU-specific trend of increasing activation of labour market policies. However, within this scope of activation, countries have opted for different mixes of policy instruments.

Keywords: Welfare States, Convergence, Active Labour Market Policies, Europeanization, European Employment Strategy

JEL Classification: H53, H55

Suggested Citation

van Vliet, Olaf, Divergence within Convergence: Europeanization of Social and Labour Market Policies (May 28, 2010). Journal of European Integration, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 269-290, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1617325

Olaf Van Vliet (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

Steenschuur 25 PO Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.leiden.edu/organisation/taxlawandeconomics/economics/staff/vliet.html

Leiden University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.leiden.edu/organisation/taxlawandeconomics/economics/staff/vliet.html

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