Social investment in Europe: bold plans, slow progress and implications for Korea

Taylor-Gooby, Peter (2006) Social investment in Europe: bold plans, slow progress and implications for Korea. In: Social Investment East and West. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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• Recent social policy and labour markets debates in Europe, responding to the difficulties faced by the traditional neo-Keynesian welfare state settlement, stress the value of positive investment alongside de-regulation and greater flexibility as a way of achieving both economic and social goals. • Patterns of policy reform are complex and reflect differing national circumstances. A general move towards deregulation, constraints on entitlement to passive benefits, programmes to enhance employment, particularly among high-risk groups such as single parents and young people, targeted subsidies for low earners and case-management may be identified. • In relation to investment in education, research and development and combined training and benefit programmes to enhance mobility between jobs the picture is less clear. Education standards continue to rise, but research and development spending stagnates and few countries have developed substantial ‘flexi-curity’ programmes to support job mobility. • The labour market tradition in much of Europe has been one of conflict between labour and employers. As labour grows weaker, new approaches develop. These tend to stress productivity agreements and greater flexibility in work practices within firms and reforms to passive social security systems more broadly, but movement to support the more challenging investment and flexi-curity policies is slow. • In general, social and labour market policies in Europe stress deregulation and negative activation more strongly than social investment and ‘flexi-curity’. The countries with high growth and employment achieve that goal by different routes: Sweden has a closely integrated social democratic corporatism with high spending on benefits and training programmes and the UK a more liberal market-oriented system, with lower spending, highly targeted benefits and less mobility support. • Europe has something to learn from Korea in achieving high investment in human capital and R and D, while Korea may have something to learn from Europe in social investment, particularly flexi-curity and equal opportunity policies.

Item Type: Book section
Additional information: Keynote at Ministerial conference to launch the Social Investment Strategy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Social Policy
Depositing User: Peter Taylor-Gooby
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2008 20:51
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2015 14:07
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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