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Meinhard, S.; Potrafke, Niklas (2012): The Globalization-Welfare State Nexus Reconsidered. In: Review of International Economics, Vol. 20, No. 2: pp. 271-287
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Two hypotheses relate to the globalization-welfare state nexus: the efficiency hypothesis predicts that globalization reduces government sector size and governments’ capacity to finance the welfare state. The compensation hypothesis, in contrast, predicts that globalization induces a higher demand for social insurance which results in an extended welfare state. Empirical evidence on the globalization-welfare state nexus is mixed. The evidence is re-examined by investigating a yearly panel dataset of 186 countries for the 1970-2004 period. This paper uses data compiled by the Penn World Tables on government sector size and employs the Konjunkturforschungsstelle (KOF-Swiss Economic Institute) index of globalization. The results show that globalization increased government sectors around the world. Social globalization especially had a positive influence. Globalization-induced effects were stronger in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Overall globalization and economic globalization reduced the relative price of government expenditures. These findings suggest that globalization does not jeopardize the welfare state at all.