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Reform Capacity and Macroeconomic Performance in the Nordic Countries$
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Torben M. Andersen, Michael Bergman, and Svend E. Hougaard Jensen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717102

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717102.001.0001

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Collective Risk Sharing

Collective Risk Sharing

The Social Safety Net and Employment

Chapter:
(p.26) 2 Collective Risk Sharing
Source:
Reform Capacity and Macroeconomic Performance in the Nordic Countries
Author(s):

Torben M. Andersen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717102.003.0002

This chapter addresses the question of how the Nordic countries have been able to achieve both high incomes and an egalitarian distribution hereof. According to traditional reasoning ambitious redistributive policies and an extended welfare state come at the cost of distorted incentives and thus a reduced economic efficiency. A key to explain the Nordic performance is the fact that welfare arrangements not only play a role in terms of redistribution but also in terms of insurance. The latter is associated with direct welfare gains and may also be conducive to a more flexible economy. Disincentive effects of the social safety net are mitigated by eligibility criteria with an active focus on job search and employment.

Keywords:   efficiency, equity, redistribution, insurance, incentives, active labour market policies, social safety net

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