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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the impact of welfare states on poverty reduction. It considers how different welfare regimes have reacted to help stressed populations, especially the poor, and how welfare states in developing countries protect their less capable populations under the pressures of globalization and postindustrial economic transformation. To address these questions, the article reviews existing theoretical and empirical literature on welfare states and poverty. It first describes three welfare state typologies in terms of skill and employment provisions before discussing the issues of targeting and encompassing welfare institutions. It then explores the redistributive policies of welfare states and how demographic transformations affect poverty. It also assesses the effects of two different types of welfare regimes observed in developing countries—productivist and protectionist welfare regimes—on poverty outcomes. Finally, it analyzes which configurations of social policies reduce poverty more effectively.

Keywords: welfare states, poverty reduction, developing countries, globalization, poverty, employment, redistributive policies, social policies

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