Abstract: The Welfare State Evolves: German Knappschaften, 1854-1923

Tobias Alexander Jopp


This essay reviews the German miners' model of mutual insurance from its introduction in 1854 to its basic reformation in 1923. The core feature of this insurance was the provision of cash benefits for compensation of income losses resulting from temporary sickness, permanent disability, or death of the breadwinner. This essay aims to give a condensed overview of how the welfare state evolved from the perspective of miners' insurance. On the one hand, evidence of increasing generosity adds to the organizational analysis; on the other hand, evidence on increasing financial distress sheds some light on the problems of a maturing pay-as-you-go–based scheme.

BEH On-Line Paper