Who's to blame? How financial crises and technocrats change (or not) the welfare state in Europe

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Since the 2008 financial crises the appointments of technocrats in parliamentary cabinets has more than doubled. At the same time most European governments adopted fiscal austerity with important consequences for their welfare states. How much of this effect is due to the financial crisis and how much is it due to the specific ministerial appointments? Using data from 13 European countries since 1980 and two-stage least square models, I test the effects of financial crises and of technocratic appointments on a battery of social welfare indicators. Initial results indicate that technocrats appointed in the finance portfolio have real effects on social welfare policy, controlling for financial crises. However, experienced ministers with a background in economics are also associated with cuts in social welfare expenditure.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2020
EventAnnual Virtual ECPR General Conference: The Comparative Politics of Ideology and Legitimacy - Online
Duration: 24 Aug 202028 Aug 2020


ConferenceAnnual Virtual ECPR General Conference
Internet address


  • financial crisis
  • policy analysis
  • austerity


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