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Weathering the storm: convergence, divergence and the robustness of the "Worlds of welfare"

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare Bambra



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Esping-Andersen's 'three worlds of welfare' typology has been the subject of an intensive and unrelenting academic debate for the past decade. This debate has been fairly extensive in its, overwhelmingly negative, evaluation but it has ignored what is arguably the most important aspect of the assessment of the typology: its robustness and validity over time. This paper provides such an assessment by presenting an updated version of Esping-Andersen's decommodification index. It compares the new index with Esping-Andersen's original and uses it to judge both the continuing validity of the 'three worlds of welfare' and broader theories that have been circulated about the convergence of welfare states.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bambra C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Social Policy Journal

Year: 2004

Volume: 3

Issue: 3

Pages: 3-23

Print publication date: 01/07/2004

Online publication date: 15/10/2008

Date deposited: 24/01/2017

ISSN (print): 1558-8742

ISSN (electronic): 1558-8750

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1300/J185v03n03_02


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