Pankratz [Abstract]

Theorizing the relationship between welfare state regimes and health using comparative national-level health measures
[Full text]

Curt Pankratz [1]

Abstract: Welfare state regime typologies have proven useful in analyzing the impacts of various social policy structures on health. Recently, several welfare state regime typologies have been identified as having relevance for the study of health. However, comparative research examining the relationships between population health and welfare states has relied disproportionately upon child-based health measures – in particular, infant mortality rate, under-5 mortality and low birthweight. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, eta, and ANOVA, this paper demonstrates that these commonly-used child-based health measures are more strongly correlated with welfare state regime typologies than other measures of population health. Adult mortality, life expectancy and disease measures are not strongly correlated with welfare state regime typologies, and greater use of such measures in comparative research may problematize the often-observed correlations between welfare states and health. The paper argues that the disproportionate use of child-based health measures may therefore present an incomplete picture of the connections between welfare state regimes and population health. Implications for theorizing the relationship between welfare states and health are discussed.

Keywords: Population health, welfare state, cluster analysis, child health, adult health, disease

[1] Department of Sociology, University of Winnipeg, Canada,