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date: 20 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article seeks to ascertain the full measure of the relationship between business and the welfare state and to understand when employers reluctantly accept, tolerate, or even actively pursue the provision of social benefits. It first reviews the relevant literature to pinpoint business motivations for supporting the creation of social benefits, either within the firm or by the state. It then explores the institutional conditions that encourage employers to cast a sympathetic eye on the welfare state. It suggests that employers have varied reasons for accepting and even seeking the provision of social benefits, ranging from mitigating labor unrest to securing productivity enhancements. Higher levels of employer organization, somewhat unexpectedly, make firms and national business communities more likely to support social programs.

Keywords: social policy, business–welfare state relationship, social benefits, labor unrest, productivity enhancements, social programs

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