This article examines the impact of the two world wars on welfare legislation in 16 western countries. We use Poisson regressions to test our hypothesis that war was a catalyst of welfare legislation, especially in countries that were heavily exposed to the dreadful effects of war. By welfare legislation, we mean the inaugural adoption and major reforms across four programmes (old age and disability benefits, sickness and maternity benefits, unemployment compensation and family allowances). Our findings suggest that both world wars are key factors for explaining the timing of comprehensive welfare reforms and outweigh the significance of other factors such as regime type or level of economic development.
SOURCE: Obinger, H., & Schmitt, C. (2020). “World war and welfare legislation in western countries.” Journal of European Social Policy, December 31, 2019.
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The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present
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