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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the main theoretical perspectives which focus directly or indirectly on the role of employers and unions in welfare state development. It also examines the conditions under which collective interests become organized and mobilized, how well worker and employer interests have been organized and integrated into the overall political economy. The differences in the degree to which welfare states share public space are addressed, that is, the influence that social partners have on policy making and implementation in different countries. It then explores wage bargaining, labour market policy, pension policy, and health care and shows how the interests of labour and capital are differentially affected and have varying influence across advanced economies. A final comparison of the developing societies and new market economies indicates that in these countries, corporatist intermediation is more fragile than in advanced economies, and organized labour and capital have less influence on employment conditions and social protection.

Keywords: political economy, employers, unions, welfare state development, policy making, wage bargaining, labour market policy, pension policy, health care, capital

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