- Partisan Politics, the Welfare State, and Three Worlds of Human Capital Formation
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- by Iversen, Torben; Stephens, John D.
- The authors propose a synthesis of power resources theory and welfare
production regime theory to explain differences in human capital formation
across advanced democracies. Emphasizing the mutually reinforcing relationships
between social insurance, skill formation, and spending on public education,
they distinguish three distinct worlds of human capital formation: one
characterized by redistribution and heavy investment in public education and
industry-specific and occupation-specific vocational skills; one characterized
by high social insurance and vocational training in firm-specific and industry-specific
skills but less spending on public education; and one characterized by
heavy private investment in general skills but modest spending on public education
and redistribution. They trace the three worlds to historical differences
in the organization of capitalism, electoral institutions, and partisan politics,
emphasizing the distinct character of political coalition formation underpinning
each of the three models. They also discuss the implications for inequality and
labor market stratification across time and space.
- Publication Type: Published Paper
- Published Date: April 2008
- Field of Interest: Comparative Politics
- Iversen, Torben, and John Stephens. "Partisan Politics, the Welfare State, and the Three Worlds of Human Capital Formation." Comparative Political Studies 20, no. 5 ( April-May 2008).