Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University


Global Welfare Regimes: A Cluster Analysis

Working Paper

Miriam Abu Sharkh
Ian Gough - University of Bath, UK

Issued by
CDDRL Working Papers, January 2009

This paper tests the claim that a small number of distinct „welfare regimes,
combining institutional patterns and social welfare outcomes, can be identified
across the developing world. It develops a methodology for clustering a large
number of developing countries, identifying and ranking their welfare regimes,
assessing their stability over the decade 1990-2000, and relating these to important
structural variables. It identifies three meta-welfare regimes: proto-welfare state
regimes, informal security regimes and insecurity regimes (distinguishing illiterateinsecurity
and morbidity-insecurity regimes). Membership of these is „sticky over
time, but has been modified by two global trends: the HIV-AIDS pandemic in Africa
and the growing role of remittances in some countries.