SOCIO-ECONOMIC INEQUALITY IN SWEDEN AND FRANCE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY
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Sweden and France have two of the highest levels of public social spending in Europe with each country exemplifying a different welfare state model. While there are some similarities in their labor market and social policies, the differences have contributed to discrepancies between the two countries in terms of socio-economic inequality. This study features the most recent data available to analyze factors contributing to socio-economic inequality, specifically income inequality, labor market policies, fiscal sustainability, and-educational systems. It compares visual representations of this data to reports by governing bodies and international organizations. Findings indicate that Sweden generally has lower levels of inequality and better well-being than France, but not in all cases. Sweden faces high unemployment for the low skilled and migrants, as well as problematic educational outcomes. France's social transfers are poorly targeted. Its government has struggled to control its increasing debt, and is facing calls to reduce its social services. This research is significant because inequality is correlated with poverty, leads to social exclusion, and can even curb economic growth.