Social Policy and Administration
Canada and the United States are often grouped together as liberal welfare-state regimes, with broadly similar levels of social spending. Yet, as the COVID-19 pandemic reveals, the two countries engage in highly divergent approaches to social policymaking during a massive public health emergency. Drawing on evidence from the first 5 months of the pandemic, this article compares social policy measures taken by the United States and Canadian governments in response to COVID-19. In general, we show that Canadian responses were both more rapid and comprehensive than those of the United States. This variation, we argue, can be explained by analysing the divergent political institutions, pre-existing policy legacies, and variations in cross-partisan consensus, which have all shaped national decision-making in the middle of the crisis.
Beland, Daniel; Dinan, Shannon; Rocco, Philip; and Waddan, Alex, "Social Policy Responses To COVID-19 In Canada and The United States: Explaining Policy Variations Between Two Liberal Welfare State Regimes" (2021). Political Science Faculty Research and Publications. 83.
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