Pontusson_WhitherSocialEurope

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FWXcWTa!B^RXP[!4da^_T. 2WP[[T]VT>=^eT\QTa¡3TRT\QTa!"??%! #HALLENGE, VOL. 49, NO. 6, /OVEMBER0$ECEMBER 2116, PP. XXnXX. ¥ 2116 -.%. 3HARPE, )NC. !LL RIGHTS RESERVED. $;)< 81.275:01577n58:24915== */.!3 0/.4533/. IS PROFESSOR OF POLITICS AT 0RINCETON 5NIVERSITY. (E WORKS ON COMPARATIVE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF ADVANCED INDUSTRIAL COUNTRIES, FOCUSING ON LABOR MARKET INSTITUTIONS AND THE POLITICS OF REDISTRIBUTION. 4HIS ESSAY UPDATES SOME OF THE EVIDENCE AND REFORMULATES SOME OF THE ARGUMENTS IN HIS MOST RECENT BOOK, )NEQUALITY AND 0ROSPERITY: 3OCIAL %UROPE AND -IBERAL !MERICA *#ORNELL 5NIVERSITY 0RESS, 2116+. 4HE AUTHOR THANKS /ARY 7'3ULLIVAN FOR HER CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK ON A PREVIOUS DRAFT. 7HITHER 3OCIAL %UROPE? *ONAS 0ONTUSSON #AN EGALITARIANISM ITSELF CONTRIBUTE TO GROWTH? 4HIS POLITICAL SCIENTIST LOOKS AT THE RECENT SUCCESS OF THE 8ORDIC STATES AND ANSWERS hYES.v (E ALSO CITES OTHER CHARACTERISTICS THAT HAVE MADE THE 8ORDIC ECONOMIES WORK, NOT LEAST THEIR INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION AND POLICIES TO PROMOTE FEMALE EMPLOYMENT. ) 4 )3 #/--/. 4(%3% $!93 TO SPEAK OF A %UROPEAN SOCIAL MODEL AND TO PONDER WHETHER THIS MODEL CAN SURVIVE AS INTERNATIONAL COMPE0 TITION INTENSIlES, THE WORLD ECONOMY BECOMES MORE AND MORE INTEGRATED, AND CAPITAL BECOMES INCREASINGLY FOOTLOOSE1 !CCORDING TO STATISTICS ON GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT *'$2+ PER CAPITA, !MERICANS EN0 JOY A MUCH HIGHER AVERAGE LIVING STANDARD THAN THE 'ERMANS AND THE &RENCH, BUT SUCH STATISTICS FAIL TO TAKE THE DISTRIBUTION OF INCOME INTO ACCOUNT1 )T IS BY NO MEANS CLEAR THAT THE MEDIAN 'ERMAN OR &RENCH FAMILY IS SIGNIlCANTLY WORSE OFF THAN THE MEDIAN !MERICAN HOUSEHOLD, LET ALONE THE MEDIAN "RITISH HOUSEHOLD1 3TILL, THERE IS NO GAINSAYING THAT THE CORE ECONOMIES OF THE %UROPEAN 5NION HAVE GROWN MORE SLOWLY THAN THE 5131 AND "RITISH ECONOMIES SINCE THE EARLY 6::7S AND THAT GROWTH RATES DO, OVER THE LONG RUN, AFFECT THE LIVING STANDARDS OF THE MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD1 !ND THERE IS EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT SLOW GROWTH ERODES SOCIAL SOLIDARITY OR, IN OTHER WORDS, POLITICAL SUPPORT
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@^]cdbb^] "! 2WP[[T]VT>=^eT\QTa¡3TRT\QTa!"??% FOR THE WELFARE STATE1 4HE POLITICAL VIABILITY OF h3OCIAL %UROPEv CLEARLY DEPENDS ON ITS ECONOMIC VIABILITY1 .EOLIBERALS TYPICALLY INVOKE EeCESSIVE EGALITARIANISM TO EePLAIN WHY %UROPE8S hSOCIAL MARKET ECONOMIESv HAVE PERFORMED WORSE THAN THE hLIBERAL MARKET ECONOMIESv OF THE 5NITED 3TATES AND OTHERS IN RECENT YEARS1 4HE REFRAIN IS FAMILIAR, INDEED SOMEWHAT TIREDZ STRONG UNIONS AND GENEROUS SOCIAL SAFETY0NET PROVISIONS KEEP THE WAGES OF UNSKILLED WORKERS ARTIlCIALLY HIGH, DAMPENING EMPLOYMENT GROWTH, AND A WHOLE SERIES OF REDISTRIBUTIVE POLICIES UNDERMINE THE INCENTIVES THAT ARE NECESSARY TO MOTIVATE INDIVIDUALS TO ACdUIRE SKILLS, TO WORK HARD, TO INNOVATE, TO SAVE AND INVEST, AND TO START NEW BUSINESSES1 -Y lRST OBJECTIVE IN THIS ESSAY IS TO CONTEST THE VIEW THAT EGALITARI0 ANISM IS THE SOURCE OF %UROPE8S RELATIVE POOR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE1 4HE PROPONENTS OF THIS INTERPRETATION TYPICALLY ENGAGE IN COMPARISONS THAT JUeTAPOSE THE 5NITED 3TATES TO THE %UROPEAN 5NION AS A WHOLE1
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Pontusson_WhitherSocialEurope - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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