The American Myth of Markets in Social Policy

Ideological Roots of Inequality

Authors: Hevenstone, Debra

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About this book

The American Myth of Markets in Social Policy examines how implementing American tropes in policy design inadvertently frustrates policy goals. The book investigates multiple market-oriented designs including funding for private organizations to deliver public services, funding for individuals to buy services, and policies incentivizing or mandating private actors to provide social policy. Hevenstone shows that these solutions often not only fail to achieve social goals, but actively undermine them. The book carefully details the mechanisms through which this occurs, and examines several policies in depth, covering universal social insurance programs like healthcare and pensions, as well as smaller interventions like programs for the homeless.

About the authors

Debra Hevenstone is Senior Researcher at the University of Zurich, Switzerland and the University of Bern, Switzerland.

Reviews

"The victory of the Cold War by the US-led West has given more credence to the belief that the market is a magic wand. In this provocative book, Debra Hevenstone attacks this widely accepted but false belief. Drawing on America's extensive experiences and fascination with market-oriented solutions in social policy, Hevenstone shows convincingly that such solutions have not only failed to achieve their stated desirable objectives but also generated undesirable, unintended consequences." - Yu Xie, Professor of Sociology, Princeton University, USA

"In this wise and engagingly written book, Debra Hevenstone uses a mixture of theory, hard social science evidence, cross-national comparisons, and personal anecdotes to puncture many myths about American society and American social policy. Students will find it a pleasure to read, faculty members will find that it sparks lively classroom debates, and experts will find that it speaks uncomfortable truths." - R. Kent Weaver, Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution, USA


Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Hevenstone, Debra

    Pages 1-7

  • Defining Social Goals: Pragmatism, Empiricism, and the Social Debate

    Hevenstone, Debra

    Pages 11-48

  • Social Policy Design: Market-Oriented Solutions, Rationality, and Federalism

    Hevenstone, Debra

    Pages 49-83

  • Labor Markets: Wages, the Employer’s Role, and Family Policy

    Hevenstone, Debra

    Pages 87-118

  • Social Insurance: Health, Pensions, and Long-Term Care

    Hevenstone, Debra

    Pages 119-174

Buy this book

eBook $79.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-43630-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-43629-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The American Myth of Markets in Social Policy
Book Subtitle
Ideological Roots of Inequality
Authors
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-43630-6
DOI
10.1057/9781137436306
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-43629-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 291
Topics