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Just energy transitions to low carbon economies: A review of the concept and its effects on labour and income

Artículo
García-García, Pablo; Carpintero, Óscar; and Buendía, Luis
Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 70, 101664
Publication year: 2020

Abstract

The global environmental and social crisis has motivated the renaissance of just transitions, this time centred around the effects on labour and income distribution of the shift to a sustainable energy mix. This renewed conception has gone beyond its origins in the US unions in the 1970s to become a key element in many discourses worldwide, with different nuances. Over the last few years, it has found a place in the SDGs and gathered strong support from the ILO. As political frameworks and literature multiply, this work presents a systematic review of the concept, its evolution and the methodologies devoted to studying it. We make three major points. First, the empirical state-of-the-art has blurred the lines of the methodological classifications found in previous studies: CGE and IAMs are two of the most popular methods, with a growing interest in hybrid approaches and system dynamics. Additionally, while most studies focus on the national level, the regional level is gaining momentum to illustrate the asymmetric effects of the transition. Second, a certain consensus has been detected to point out a positive, yet relatively small, impact of the transition on net employment and a negative effect on income distribution. Third, there is a scarcity of research about income dynamics, while studies on labour are blind to the effects of the transition on the quality of jobs, the evolution of working hours and gender. These gaps have inspired the elaboration of a research agenda that is presented at the end of the work.

Gone with the Crisis? Welfare State Change in Europe Before and Since the 2008 Crisis

Artículo
Buendía, Luis; Gómez Serrano, Pedro José and Molero-Simarro, Ricardo
Social Indicators Research, 50, pp. 243-264
Publication year: 2020

Abstract

The economic crisis has undoubtedly impacted welfare states through the austerity policies prioritised to purportedly lead economies back to a growth path. In this paper, we assess the effects of the crisis in those welfare states, focusing on income benefits and analysing cases of welfare state change before the crisis via gross replacement rates available through the OECD tax/benefits database. We begin with a literature review on impacts of the crisis on welfare states, then focus on our hypothesis that retrenchment trends were already in motion before the crisis. From our point of view, this is relevant to understanding the evolution of welfare states since 2001, particularly those effects attributable to the crisis (versus those that are not); this may also be of help in the prediction of future trends.

A perfect storm in a sunny economy: a political economy approach to the crisis in Spain

Artículo
Buendía, Luis
Socio-Economic Review, Vol. 18, Issue 2, pp. 419-438.
Publication year: 2020

Abstract

Although Spain’s economy was seen as a miracle during the most recent expansive phase (for its labour market outcomes in terms of job growth, among other things), the economy’s development during those years suffered from severe problems that deserve attention. This became more relevant in a context like the current one, where there is no consensus around which economic policies might lead the country back onto a stable growth path. Using a systemic approach in which we analyse the growth model, the role of Spain in the European division of labour, the financial sector, the labour market, the public sector, and the distribution of income, we contend that, in contrast with several narratives concerning the crisis in Spain: (i) the ‘living-beyond-our-means’ discourse is not true; and (ii) certain political and economic aspects, usually missing in those narratives, are essential to understanding the recent evolution of Spain.

The impact of the 2008/9 crisis on inequality and poverty in Southern Europe: The case of Spain

Artículo
Gómez Serrano, Pedro José; Molero-Simarro, Ricardo and Buendía, Luis
Journal of Australian Political Economy, No. 78, pp. 87-114
Publication year: 2016

Abstract

The issue of global economic inequality has increasingly drawn the attention of both scholars, NGOs and international institutions during the last decades. In addittion, the current economic recession has worsened previous trends of increasing inequalities. Drawing from the literature that deals with the effects of adjustment policies applied in several European economies since the beginning of the crisis, we focus our analysis on inequalities and poverty. In this paper we assess to what extent inequality and poverty figures have followed a different path in Southern Europe compared with the EU-15 average. Besides, we delimit the particularities of Spain within the set of what has come to be known in recent years as the European ‘periphery’. We defend two theses: i) worsening labour markets are one of the main factors explaining the increasing inequality in Southern Europe; and ii) the underdevelopment of Mediterranean welfare states, together with the economic, social, and political barriers to strengthening their position in recent years, prevents the public sector from offsetting the negative consequences of crisis on inequality and poverty figures.

Los Estados de bienestar europeos en transformación: el impacto de la crisis de 2008

Artículo
Luis, Buendía
Revista de Economía Crítica, 20, pp. 58-64
Publication year: 2015

Expansion and Retrenchment of the Swedish Welfare State: A Long-Term Approach

Artículo
Buendía, Luis
International Journal of Health Services, vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 226-45.
Publication year: 2015

Abstract

In this paper we will undertake a long-term analysis of the evolution of the Swedish welfare state, seeking to explain that evolution through the use of a systemic approach. That is to say, our approach will consider the interrelations between economic growth (EG), the socio-political institutional framework (IF), and the welfare state (WS) − understood as a set of institutions embracing the labour market and its regulation, the tax system, and the so-called social wage − in order to find the main variables that elucidate its evolution. We will show that the expansive phase of the Swedish welfare state can be explained by the symbiotic relationships developed in the WS-EG-IF interaction; whereas the period of welfare state retrenchment is one result of changes operating within the socio-political (IF) and economic (EG) bases.

Economic Growth and Welfare State: A Case Study of Sweden

Artículo
Buendia, Luis and Palazuelos, Enrique
Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 761-777.
Publication year: 2014

Abstract

In this article we analyse the relation between the dynamics of economic growth and the welfare state using the Swedish experience as a case study. We defend three theses concerning the Swedish experience: that the deep economic crisis of 1990–93 constituted the definite breaking point for the accumulation pattern in force since the 1950s (and in crisis since the mid-1970s); that the new accumulation pattern eroded the long-standing symbiotic relationships between economic growth and the welfare state; and that the welfare state has suffered retrenchments and qualitative changes of great importance, which can be fundamentally explained by the transformations in the accumulation pattern. We conclude that the changes introduced in Sweden have continued to subordinate the welfare state’s main goals, giving priority to the new accumulation pattern.

Metodologías para la evaluación del impacto en desarrollo de la ayuda reembolsable: la experiencia europea

Artículo
Buendia, Luis
Iberoamerican Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 2, Nº 2, pp. 94-117
Publication year: 2013

Abstract

En este artículo se analizan las metodologías de evaluación del impacto en desarrollo de las operaciones financieras aplicadas por las  principales instituciones bilaterales europeas de financiación del desarrollo (IEFD). Para ello, se identifican los criterios de selección de  los proyectos financiados utilizando tanto una revisión de la literatura disponible (incluyendo sus propias páginas web) como entrevistas realizadas en las propias instituciones. El artículo concluye que las metodologías aplicadas por estas instituciones contienen limitaciones severas en la medida en que no incluyen un análisis del marco institucional en el que se desenvuelven dichas operaciones, razón por la que el impacto en desarrollo atribuido debe ponerse en entredicho.

Estructura productiva, ciclo político y desigualdad: El caso de Uruguay, 2004-2011

Artículo
Buendía García, Luis and Sanabria Martín, Antonio
Revista Galega de Economía, vol. 22, núm. Extraordinario, pp. 61-84.
Publication year: 2013

Abstract

El triunfo electoral del Frente Amplio (FA) uruguayo en octubre de 2004 representaba en apariencia una ruptura con toda la política económica seguida hasta entonces y que desembocó entre los años 1999 y 2002 en una grave crisis económica. En este artículo se analiza el proceso iniciado con las reformas del FA, partiendo de la evolución de la estructura productiva del país, los cambios en la distribución primaria de la renta y, finalmente, la distribución secundaria y la pobreza. El trabajo concluye que, en términos de política social, la ruptura ha sido real y ha tenido lugar una importante reducción de la desigualdad. Sin embargo, y a pesar de reconocer las limitaciones derivadas de un período de análisis aún necesariamente poco prolongado, los cambios en la estructura productiva han sido menores, lo que pone en riesgo los logros anteriores ante coyunturas económicas menos propicias que las actuales.

¿Existió alguna vez un modelo social europeo? Evolución y perspectiva de los Estados de bienestar en Europa

Artículo
Buendía García, Luis
Papeles de relaciones ecosociales y cambio global, 120, pp. 89-100
Publication year: 2012

Abstract

El presente artículo aborda la idea del «modelo social europeo» –expresión en boga en determinados círculos desde los años noventa– como construcción ideológica, en buena medida útil como opuesto al American way of life. Sin embargo, ya antes de la crisis, existían indicios que ponían en cuestión la existencia real de dicho modelo. Si bien es cierto que cabe hablar de cierta idiosincrasia social europea, también lo es que existe una notable diversidad en el seno de Europa. Un análisis detenido del contexto de la crisis pone de manifiesto que no ha habido convergencia real y que el signo de las políticas auspiciadas por la UE choca precisamente con los Estados de bienestar.