Classification of Welfare Regimes Using Cluster Analysis: Where Does Turkey Stand?

Gözde Şener
Bogazici University the Graduate Program in Economy
Graduation Date: 
Ayşe Buğra
Classification of Welfare Regimes Using Cluster Analysis: Where Does Turkey Stand?

In his seminal book on welfare regimes in 18 industrial democracies, Esping-Andersen (1990) constructed today’s best known typology of welfare states. He developed a threefold classification of welfare regimes, namely, the “liberal”, the “social democratic” and the “corporatist”, based on the data of 1980 on pension, unemployment and sickness benefits. This thesis replicates, extends and tests the methodological validity of Esping-Andersen’s de-commodification index by using data of the 2000s, by including Greece, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, and by conducting cluster analysis. The purpose is to see if the same welfare state clusters continue to exist today and to situate the Mediterranean countries, especially Turkey, in these clusters. The results of the de-commodification index in this thesis are almost exactly the same as Esping-Andersen’s findings. The major difference between the two studies is the presence of the Southern European countries in my analysis which, except Spain, all belong to the medium de-commodifying welfare state cluster. According to the results of the cluster analysis, the least de-commodifying, “liberal” welfare state cluster consists of exactly the same countries classified as “liberal” both in Esping-Andersen’s and my de-commodification indices, namely, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The second, medium de-commodifying welfare state cluster consists of the Southern European welfare states. Finally, the third, most de-commodifying cluster consists of the countries that are the “social democratic” and “corporatist” welfare states according to Esping-Andersen’s de-commodification index, however, still the distinction between these two groups can be seen.