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Social Progress in Britain$
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Anthony F. Heath

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805489

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805489.001.0001

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Progress in Tackling Beveridge’s Five Giants

Progress in Tackling Beveridge’s Five Giants

The Successes and Limitations of Social Reform

Chapter:
(p.198) 9 Progress in Tackling Beveridge’s Five Giants
Source:
Social Progress in Britain
Author(s):

Anthony F. Heath

Elisabeth Garratt

Ridhi Kashyap

Yaojun Li

Lindsay Richards

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198805489.003.0009

The concluding chapter of the book summarizes the evidence about social progress in Britain, and the extent to which Britain has been successful in tackling Beveridge’s five giants. It shows how patterns differ between the different domains of social progress and in which domains disadvantaged groups fell behind. The chapter also reviews how Britain’s progress compared with that in peer countries. In some cases the evidence suggests that common features were evident in all eight countries, whereas in other cases, notably material prosperity, life expectancy, and unemployment, there were significant deviations from the experience of peer countries. The chapter uses these comparisons to explore whether Margaret Thatcher’s 1980s reform package improved Britain’s economic and labour market performance and whether it had unwanted side effects in the form of reduced equality of opportunity and social cohesion.

Keywords:   social progress, cross-national comparisons, free market reforms, natural experiment, coordinated market economies, liberal market economies

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