Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

A Race to the Middle: The Politics of Interstate Cost Distribution and Welfare State Expansion


Walter, André (2019). A Race to the Middle: The Politics of Interstate Cost Distribution and Welfare State Expansion. The Journal of Politics, 81(3):952-967.

Abstract

Previous research on welfare state development in federal states has claimed that interstate competition induces a race to the bottom with regard to social expenditure. While existing research has focused on the impact of migration inflows of poor households on states with high provision of social expenditure, it has remained silent with regard to migration outflows. In this article, I argue that migration outflows are associated with increased social expenditure if eligibility restrictions for social benefits between states are relaxed. Facing outflows of workers and the unemployed, low-spending states respond with increases in social expenditure to retain a sufficient workforce and counteract rising wage levels. As a result, states with higher levels of outward migration are catching up with more generous states instead of engaging in a race to the bottom. To support my claim, I use a time-series cross-sectional data set of Swiss cantons covering the period 1930–75.

Abstract

Previous research on welfare state development in federal states has claimed that interstate competition induces a race to the bottom with regard to social expenditure. While existing research has focused on the impact of migration inflows of poor households on states with high provision of social expenditure, it has remained silent with regard to migration outflows. In this article, I argue that migration outflows are associated with increased social expenditure if eligibility restrictions for social benefits between states are relaxed. Facing outflows of workers and the unemployed, low-spending states respond with increases in social expenditure to retain a sufficient workforce and counteract rising wage levels. As a result, states with higher levels of outward migration are catching up with more generous states instead of engaging in a race to the bottom. To support my claim, I use a time-series cross-sectional data set of Swiss cantons covering the period 1930–75.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
3 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

17 downloads since deposited on 15 Nov 2022
11 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:1 July 2019
Deposited On:15 Nov 2022 15:54
Last Modified:28 Mar 2024 02:40
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:0022-3816
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/703132
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)