New Welfare State Models Based on the New Member States' Experience?

20 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2014

See all articles by Miroslav Beblavy

Miroslav Beblavy

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Date Written: 2008


The paper is concerned with the issue of how the postsocialist new member states of the European Union fit into the established methodologies of worlds and varieties of welfare capitalism. The paper argues that the postsocialist welfare state is different from the welfare states of the old member states and does not resemble any of the four existing models as present in Europe. The welfare states of the EU-10 countries are much smaller than those in the western half of the continent and generally demonstrate much stronger emphasis on redistribution to prevent poverty. The EU-10 are also highly internally differentiated as a group. We describe dimensions of welfare states in the new member states along three dimensions: size of the social protection expenditure, redistributive nature of the social transfers and relative redistribution effects based on the ratio between the first two variables. The size, and indirectly the shape, of the welfare state in the new member states is associated strongly with two factors: the size of the shock undergone by each economy during the transition and ethnic heterogeneity, particularly with regard to clearly defined and marginalized minorities. Based on these findings, we suggest provisional division of the Central and Eastern European welfare states into five groups. The provisional typology is based on the three dimensions of the welfare state identified above and position of each group along these dimensions is associated with potential determinants discussed above.

Suggested Citation

Beblavy, Miroslav, New Welfare State Models Based on the New Member States' Experience? (2008). Available at SSRN: or

Miroslav Beblavy (Contact Author)

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres
Brussels, 1000

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