On the way to Welfare 4.0?

How does digitalization influence contemporary welfare states? How do they adjust towards Welfare 4.0? We – a group of political scientists from Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen – adressed these and other questions in a study for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.The study is now available online in German  (Auf dem Weg zu Wohlfahrt 4.0) and English (On the way to Welfare 4.0?)

We ecamined both the status of digitalization and its effects on the fields labor markets, health-care and innovation in seven European welfare states: Estonia, Francce, germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

We especially focus on the influences of both, external and internal modernization effects of digitalization on the welfare architecture. External effects are induced by the transformation of industrial production (industry 4.0) into the welfare system, while internal effects are caused by the digitalization of the welfare state itself. Depending on the mode of modernization we can find different (potential) effects on the question of social inequality.


Apparently, those countries do better in terms of equality who actively modernize their welfare state from within and who implement high standards of social welfare. The role model for this is Sweden.

For more results and insights, just download the study:

  • Daniel Buhr, Claudia Christ, Rolf Frankenberger, Marie-Christine Fregin, Josef Schmid & Markus Trämer (2016): Auf dem Weg zu Wohlfahrt 4.0? : Die Digitalisierung des Wohlfahrtsstaates in den Politikfeldern Arbeit, Gesundheit und Innovation im europäischen Vergleich.  Berlin:  FES,  ISBN 978-3-95861-687-5; DIGBIB-Permalink = http://www.fes.de/cgi-bin/gbv.cgi?id=13009&ty=pdf
  • Daniel Buhr, Claudia Christ, Rolf Frankenberger, Marie-Christine Fregin, Josef Schmid & Markus Trämer (2016): On the way to welfare 4.0? : Digitalisation of the welfare state in labour market, health care and innovation policy : a European comparison. Berlin: FES, ISBN 978-3-95861-712-4; DIGBIB-Permalink = http://www.fes.de/cgi-bin/gbv.cgi?id=13010&ty=pdf

In addition to the comparative study we also examined the seven welfare states in more comprehensive case studies:


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