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Title:Race to the Bottom or Move to the Middle? Globalization and Welfare Regime Transformation in the Developing World
Author(s):Shou, Huisheng
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Pahre, Robert D.
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Abstract:My findings demonstrate that the variations of social welfare systems in the developing world are rooted in the conflicting dynamics of industrialization and globalization. Industrialization in the developing world has an expansionary effect on welfare expenditures as it entails risks that fuel the demand for protection. The impact of globalization, however, is multifaceted. Globalization induces a structural change of preferences among major social actors with regards to social protection, which, in turn, leads to the fundamental change of policymaking strategies of politicians. Specifically, globalization has an equalization effect on the preferences among social actors, as the risks associated with economic openness become increasingly similar to social groups from different sectors. The changing structure of social preferences at the demand side fundamentally alters the incentives of policymakers at the supply side whose ultimate concern is to maximize political support from contending social groups that have been affected unevenly by globalization. The result is a trend towards an equilibrium welfare policy outcome in which the marginal support from different groups is equally weighed and politicians compensate groups only partially. In this equilibrium welfare regime, globalization imposes downward pressures on inefficient welfare programs but also induces governments to establish and expand social safety nets that are critical for market competition and sustainable development. Arguments are tested through both quantitative cross-national analysis and comparative case studies of China, Brazil, and South Korea.
Issue Date:2010
Description:255 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3455915
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2010

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