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Nordic Welfare Model

The commitment to promote equality through state policies was perhaps the greatest legacy of the 20th century. Until recently the Nordic countries were broadly perceived as showing the greatest will to reduce inequalities, of making the greatest efforts to prevent and dampen inequalities, and of achieving the greatest degree of inequality between men and women and between poor and rich. Only a decade into the 21st century, the will, efforts and capacity can be questioned, also in the Nordic countries.

If even the Nordic countries, well-known for their equality achievements, are changing, we can only but expect that changing equality will be less of an issue globally. To assess the causes, direction, scope and impact of change we study the Nordic welfare model on a number of aspects, including degree of universalism and generosity, and on equality outcomes across a wide range of dimensions and policy areas in various studies.

Currently we undertake a series of comparative studies using micro-simulation of taxes and benefits to better assess the changing of Nordic policies when compared to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK (link). Also in early 2012 results for a large collaborative project on Changing Social Equality will come out in an edited volume.

Contact person: Klaus Petersen

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