Globalisation, Institutions and the Welfare State

Focussing on the global changes since 1989, the objective of GIWeS is to produce first class research on how trade, technology and the welfare state interact; on the challenges to national welfare states in an integrated European labour market, and on the political support for reform. The project is unique in several dimensions: It is comparative, focussing on Austria, Germany, Norway, and the UK, countries that differ in their industry base, skill structure, and welfare institutions. It is relevant, addressing the current crisis, migration and the support for welfare spending. It is dynamic, drawing on unique longitudinal information that allows us to explore long term impacts of global shocks down to the individual firm and the individual worker. It is innovative, linking – for the first time – administrative longitudinal data covering entire populations across countries allowing us to follow individuals across national borders, investigating their choices in work environments and welfare institutions. It is wide-ranging, capturing how globalization makes competition more dynamic, speeding up innovation, and the process of creative destruction, and how wide-ranging changes may give rise to a new political and economic equilibrium. It is institutional, asking whether the European welfare state survives the transformation, and what will happen to its different incarnations such as the Scandinavian, the German and the British model. It is spot on all five themes of the call, organized around international research groups in London, Linz and Oslo, with additional partners. It is enlightening, adding unique and novel insight into the interplay of the Welfare State and economic prosperity in Europe.