The French Social Protection System : Path Dependencies and Societal Coherence
Barbier, Jean-Claude; Théret, Bruno (2000-09), The French Social Protection System : Path Dependencies and Societal Coherence, The Year 2000 International Research Conference on Social Security, 2000-09, Helsinki, Finlande
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleThe Year 2000 International Research Conference on Social Security
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract (EN)This paper examines the evolution of the french system of social protection since the mid seventies. It first describes overall trends in social expenditure during the last twenty years and then analyses how funding principles have been altered in the context of changing business cycles and the economic fundamentals (section 1). It then turns to a presentation of developments in terms of activity patterns, poverty, family and demographic patterns (section 2). The following sections are devoted to sectoral analysis with regard to privatisation (section 3), targeting (section 4) and activation tendencies (section 5). It concludes that globally the French system of social protection has undergone numerous innovative transformations since the eighties and the nineties which design a clear general trend. Rather than a radical shift in the traditional French Bismarckian model, what seems to emerge is a new Bismarckian/Beveridgean welfare mix. This particular mix appears as a logical extension of a pattern present from the early stages of the system in 1945. Change is path-dependent but that path dependency does not prevent innovation in the French hybrid system. Although Beveridgean principles have influenced these developments crucially, the outcome in terms of institutions and rules is certainly not uniformly Beveridgean. A tentative new alliance is building up between the traditional paritariste spirit and state dominated national solidarity.
Subjects / KeywordsPolitique sociale; Sécurité sociale
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