This book offers an extensive review of market-oriented economic reforms since 1970, and considers the question of whether more liberal economic policy yields greater social welfare. The author demonstrates that, despite the widespread uniformity of economic policy across countries over the past 45 years, welfare differences persist. Stankov posits that the crisis has stalled the momentum of economic freedom reforms across the globe and policy agendas have gradually shifted from pro-market to pro-redistribution. The book argues that this shift is inevitable: market-oriented economics, Stankov notes, is the natural bedfellow of populism. Through rigorous empirical methodology and the use of various case studies, Stankov is among the first to offer an empirical explanation.
Petar Stankov is Senior Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) in Sofia, Bulgaria. Stankov has published on economic growth, financial crises, inequality and institutional reforms. He has taught economics for 10 years at the UNWE, the Anglo-American University in Prague, the Prague School of Economics, and the American University in Bulgaria.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Contemporary Views on Welfare and Reforms
2.1. The concept of welfare in the 21st century
2.2. Theories and evidence on how reforms affect welfare
Chapter 3. Policies and Reforms
3.1. Economic policies since 1970
3.2. Reform patterns
Chapter 4. Policy Convergence vs. Welfare Convergence
4.1. Policy convergence
4.2. Welfare convergence: graphical evidence
4.3. Is welfare convergence significant?
Chapter 5. Welfare and Reforms: The Evidence
5.1. Welfare and Reforms: Graphical Evidence
5.2. Empirical strategy and data
Chapter 6. Crises, Welfare and Populism
6.1. What is populism?
6.2. The political economy of populism
6.3. Measuring populism
6.6. Freedom, Populism and Welfare: Case studies
Chapter 7. Conclusion