The Real Worlds of Welfare Capitalism traces how individuals fare over time in each of the three principal types of welfare state. Through a unique analysis of panel data from Germany, the Netherlands and the US, tracking individuals' socio-economic fate over fully ten years, Goodin, Headey, Muffels and Dirven explore issues of economic growth and efficiency, of poverty and inequality, of social integration and social autonomy. It is common to talk of the inevitability of tradeoffs between these goals. But in this book the authors contend that the social democratic welfare regime, represented here by the Netherlands, equals or exceeds the performance of the corporatist German regime and the liberal US regime across all these social and economic objectives. They thus argue that, whatever one's priorities, the social democratic welfare regime is uniquely well-suited to realizing them.
"...a distinctive and important book." Robert M. Solow, The New York Review of Books "...significant contribution of this book is its clear elaboration of the social and political values underlying welfare states and how these vary across welfare regimes." American Journal of Sociology "This is an innovative and stimulating study of the difference made by the type of welfare state regime under which individuals actually live. As an empirical study, it provides a major contribution to comparative welfare state research." Governance "This book will engage readers intrigued with the different forms that capitalism can take, and reformers searching for ways in which it can be made more humane...There is much to recommend here...Footnotes provide rich extensions of points of dispute and some alternative views, and useful links to related material...this study provides eye-opening examples of other ways to do capitalism...For a world that seems to be growing tired of neoliberal precepts, this study of other ways to live with capitalism will be most welcome." Review of Radical Political Economics