© 2015

The Political Economy of Household Services in Europe

  • Clément Carbonnier
  • Nathalie Morel

Part of the Work and Welfare in Europe book series (RECOWE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Taking the Low Road: The Political Economy of Household Services in Europe

  3. The Politics of Subsidising Domestic Services in Europe

  4. Taking the Low Road? The Development of a Low-End Service Economy for Europe

  5. Money Well Spent? Services Used, Beneficiaries and Employment Effect of These Policies

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 285-288

About this book


This edited volume assesses from a variety of perspectives the policies introduced to support the development of household services across Europe. It highlights the impact of these costly policies on the creation of low quality jobs and on labour market dualisation, and questions their social and economic outcomes.


Household services domestic work low-wage work low-end service jobs tax credits social policy political economy labour market dualisation care services domestic outsourcing fiscal welfare social inequalities employment Job Creation labor market labour market migrants service

Editors and affiliations

  • Clément Carbonnier
    • 1
  • Nathalie Morel
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Cergy-PontoiseFrance
  2. 2.Sciences PoFrance

About the editors

Clément Carbonnier, University of Cergy-Pontoise, France Nathalie Morel, Sciences Po, France Kristiina Aalto, University of Helsinki, Finland Catharina Calleman, Stockholm University, Sweden François-Xavier Devetter, University of Lille, France Virginie Guiraudon, Sciences Po, France Heikki Hiilamo, University of Helsinki, Finland Florence Jany-Catrice, University of Lille, France Clémence Ledoux, University of Nantes, France Marion Lefebvre, University of Lille, France Kai Leichsenring, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna Ive Marx, University of Antwerp, Belgium Anita Nyberg, Stockholm University, Sweden Andrea Schmidt, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna Karen Shire, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany Dieter Vandelannoote, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, Belgium Juliane Winkelmann, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna

Bibliographic information


"This is a wonderfully illuminating book presenting a new incisive analysis of the political economy of household services. It throws light on the increasing use of tax breaks in Continental and Nordic welfare states to support the private employment of household and care services. While the political legitimacy for this is that it helps the productivity of skilled professional workers in the knowledge economy and employment for those marginalised from the labor market, the reality is new social, gendered and ethnic inequalities and labour market dualisms. A major contribution to understanding the contradictions of neo-liberal welfare polices." - Fiona Williams, University of Leeds, UK

"Using public policy to create new incentive structures for the marketization of household services is one of the very important albeit under-analysed directions of change as welfare regimes are restructured. Nathalie Morel and Clément Carbonnier have assembled a truly impressive array of experts to describe and assess this redesign and thereby to make it fully visible to social policy analysis. The cross-disciplinary approach bringing together, among others, political scientists, economists and sociologists provides a rich array of lens with which to view reliance on tax credits to replace more familiar policy instruments in order to achieve market-making policy effects." - Jane Jenson, Université de Montréal, Canada

"This book puts into perspective some celebrated employment miracles, which, if on the one hand they allowed low skilled individuals to access jobs, at the same time reinforced old inequalities and generated new ones. With its multidisciplinary approach, this book sheds light on the increasing use of fiscal instruments in Continental and Nordic welfare states to foster low skilled employment, on the labour market outcomes of these policies, as well as on their social and welfare consequences. A recommended reading to all those who want to understand the complexity of post-industrial societies." - Giuliano Bonoli, Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration, Switzerland