International research on the social determinants of health has increasingly started to integrate a welfare state regimes perspective. Although this is to be welcomed, to date there has been an over-reliance on Esping-Andersen’s The three worlds of welfare capitalism typology (1990). This is despite the fact that it has been subjected to extensive criticism and that there are in fact a number of competing welfare state typologies within the comparative social policy literature. The purpose of this paper is to provide public health researchers with an up-to-date overview of the welfare state regime literature so that it can be reflected more accurately in future research. It outlines The three worlds of welfare capitalism typology, and it presents the criticisms it received and an overview of alternative welfare state typologies. It concludes by suggesting new avenues of study in public health that could be explored by drawing upon this broader welfare state regimes literature.
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Competing interests: None declared.
- Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development