Retrenched Welfare Regimes Still Lessen Social Class Inequalities in Health

C. Muntaner, O. Davis, K. McIsaack, L. Kokkinen, K. Shankardass, P. O'Campo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article builds on recent work that has explored how welfare regimes moderate social class inequalities in health. It extends research to date by using longitudinal data from the EU-SILC (2003-2010) and examines how the relationship between social class and self-reported health and chronic conditions varies across 23 countries, which are split into five welfare regimes (Nordic, Anglo-Saxon, Eastern, Southern, and Continental). Our analysis finds that health across all classes was only worse in Eastern Europe (compared with the Nordic countries). In contrast, we find evidence that the social class gradient in both measures of health was significantly wider in the Anglo-Saxon and Southern regimes. We suggest that this evidence supports the notion that welfare regimes continue to explain differences in health according to social class location. We therefore argue that although downward pressures from globalization and neoliberalism have blurred welfare regime typologies, the Nordic model may continue to have an important mediating effect on class-based inequalities in health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-431
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Health Services
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1


  • SILC
  • health equity
  • longitudinal study
  • social class
  • social inequalities in health
  • welfare regime
  • welfare state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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