Dismantling by Default? The Indexation of Social Benefits in Four Countries

Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Flemming Juul Christiansen, Eva-Maria Euchner, Carsten Jensen and John Turnpenny

in Dismantling Public Policy

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199656646
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746000 | DOI:
Dismantling by Default? The Indexation of Social Benefits in Four Countries

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This chapter focuses on the indexation of social benefits (i.e. adjustments in line with inflation or real wage development) in Denmark, Sweden, the UK, and Germany. It is argued that studying indexation rules is central to a fuller understanding of the changing substantial intensity of welfare benefits. It offers insights into politicians' preferences and their strategies of dismantling in that changing indexation rules is attractive because it is easy to implement and hard to recognize. Thus, not indexing at all, or altering indexation rules, is a strategy applied regardless of political colour, welfare-state regime, and political institutional context. Such a decline in the real value of social benefits is the general picture when looking at unemployment benefits across the nations studied.

Keywords: policy dismantling; dismantling by default; social policy; unemployment benefits; child benefits policy; pension policy; British Politics; Swedish politics; German Politics; Danish politics

Chapter.  9349 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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