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Sustainable social spending

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  • Assar Lindbeck

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Abstract

The paper discusses a number of threats to the financial sustainability of social spending: increased internationalization of national economies, gradually higher relative costs of producing a number of human services, the “graying” of the population, slower productivity growth in the private sector, low employment rates, and various types of disincentive effects related to the welfare state itself, including moral hazard. I argue that threats from gradually rising costs of providing human services and disincentive effects of welfare-state arrangements, in particular moral hazard and benefit dependency, are more difficult to deal with than the other threats. I also discuss the choice between ad hoc policy reforms and automatic adjustment mechanisms, delegated to administrative bodies, for dealing with these threats. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 303-324

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:4:p:303-324

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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Keywords: Sustainable fiscal policy; Baumol’s disease; Moral hazard; Automatic adjustment mechanisms;

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Cited by:
  1. Torben Andersen, 2007. "The Scandinavian Model – Prospects and Challenges," CESifo Working Paper Series 1903, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2007. "Sustainable Social Spending and Stagnant Public Services: Baumol's Cost Disease Revisited," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(4), pages 519-547, December.

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