his paper offers a replication of the analysis presented in Pierson’s (1994) book, Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher, and the Politics of Retrenchment. Since Pierson grounded his conclusions about the irrelevance of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s on a mere confrontation between Reagan and Thatcher’s plans and the retrenchments actually implemented, the replication was performed in a counterfactual framework. Specifically, adopting the synthetic control method, the trajectories of several UK and US welfare state measures, observed in the presence of Thatcher and Reagan’s administration, were compared with corresponding trajectories reconstructed in the absence of conservative governments. That comparison involved results substantially in line with Pierson’s main conclusion: in many policy arenas, the two conservative governments did not exercise a noticeable alteration. Nevertheless, the significant impacts that emerged for specific components of the two welfare states are, in several cases, different from those stressed in Pierson’s book.

Did the conservative resurgence matter? A counterfactual replication of Pierson’s analysis on Reagan and Thatcher’s welfare state retrenchments

podestà
2020

Abstract

his paper offers a replication of the analysis presented in Pierson’s (1994) book, Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher, and the Politics of Retrenchment. Since Pierson grounded his conclusions about the irrelevance of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s on a mere confrontation between Reagan and Thatcher’s plans and the retrenchments actually implemented, the replication was performed in a counterfactual framework. Specifically, adopting the synthetic control method, the trajectories of several UK and US welfare state measures, observed in the presence of Thatcher and Reagan’s administration, were compared with corresponding trajectories reconstructed in the absence of conservative governments. That comparison involved results substantially in line with Pierson’s main conclusion: in many policy arenas, the two conservative governments did not exercise a noticeable alteration. Nevertheless, the significant impacts that emerged for specific components of the two welfare states are, in several cases, different from those stressed in Pierson’s book.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/324646
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