In this study, the authors investigate the global labor market and employment relations, which are central building blocks of the welfare state; the aim is to propose a global typology of labor markets to explain global inequalities in population health. Countries are categorized into core (21), semi-peripheral (42), and peripheral (71) countries, based on gross national product per capita (Atlas method). Labor market-related variables and factors are then used to generate clusters of countries with principal components and cluster analysis methods. The authors then examine the relationship between the resulting clusters and health outcomes. The clusters of countries are largely geographically defined, each cluster with similar historical background and developmental strategy. However, there are interesting exceptions, which warrant further elaboration. The relationship between health outcomes and clusters largely follows the authors' expectations (except for communicable diseases): more egalitarian labor institutions have better health outcomes. The world system, then, can be divided according to different types of labor markets that are predictive of population health outcomes at each level of economic development. As is the case for health and social policies, variability in labor market characteristics is likely to reflect, in part, the relative strength of a country's political actors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy