Espanet 2016

Fiscal and Occupational Welfare in Europe (stream 15)

Stream convenors :

  • Nathalie Morel (Sciences Po, Paris, France)
  • Emmanuele Pavolini (Macerata University, Italy)

Most European welfare state research has been focused on what Titmuss defined as “social welfare” (the range of social services and benefits provided by the state). Meanwhile, “occupational welfare” – that is the set of benefits individuals receive directly or indirectly (as a family member) through their employment contract – and “fiscal welfare” – the social benefits that individuals receive through the tax system – have remained largely understudied despite the growing use of tax expenditures for social purposes and the increasing role of employers and social partners in the provision of welfare in Europe. The development of fiscal and occupational schemes raises issues both in terms of the distributive effects of such policies in comparison with public social welfare provision (and the possibly mutually reinforcing effects between fiscal and occupational schemes), but also regarding the governance of welfare provision, with the increasing role of new actors (employers, social partners, private enterprises, Ministry of Finance…). Such schemes also modify the mode of financing of welfare provision and may be understood as contributing to the ‘modernisation’ of the welfare state in a context of strained public finances.

This stream thus aims to shed light on these two understudied sources of welfare provision and their consequences and welcomes contributions dealing with the following aspects:

  • Country-level or comparative analyses of the form and role of fiscal and/or occupational schemes in relation to national tax-benefit arrangements (in terms of spending and population coverage for instance)
  • The politics of fiscal and/or occupational welfare and changes in the governance of social protection linked to the development of fiscal and/or occupational welfare
  • The distributional effects of fiscal and/or occupational welfare
  • The relevance of occupational and/or fiscal welfare programmes in terms of ongoing welfare state transformations (e.g. occupational/fiscal welfare programmes as “supplementary” or “substitute” to public social welfare provision, effects in terms of welfare privatization, etc.).

Both country case studies and comparative papers are welcome.

You will find more information here.