Social Policy and Society


Health Status and the Worlds of Welfare

Clare Bambra a1
a1 Centre for Public Policy and Health, Durham University E-mail:

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One of the most substantial additions made by the ‘three worlds of welfare’ thesis to the welfare state modelling business is that comparisons should examine what welfare states actually do rather than how much they are afforded or which services they provide. This paper extends this basic principle by comparing the health outcomes (measured in terms of infant mortality rates) of welfare states and welfare state regimes. It examines whether there are significant differences in health status between the ‘three worlds of welfare’ and to what extent a relationship exists between health and decommodification. It concludes by reflecting upon the implications for the ‘three worlds of welfare’.

(Published Online January 23 2006)