Beckfield’s book is an empirical study on how European integrationhas affected the (mainly Western European) welfare state systems.Data analyses reveal a dual effect; household income inequality hasincreased over the past half century (before the global pandemic pe-riod) while the process of economic integration also drew nationaleconomies closer together among the Western European countries.Statistically, the book investigates a period from the first decadesof European integration until the mid of 2010s. It was published in2019, three years after the Brexit referendum in the uk and justbefore the covid-19 pandemic broke out. The empirical analysesare implemented with panel data on Western, Scandinavian, andMediterranean European countries, mainly, for which longer timeseries are available. Statistical data used for the quantitative analy-ses come from two major sources. One is the Eurostat database andother one comprises datasets of the Luxembourg Income Study. Theformer is mainly used for macro-economic data while the latter pro-vides cross-national micro-economic income data.
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