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The State of Welfare: The Economics of Social Spending


Editor Info

  • Glennerster, Howard
    (London School of Economics)
  • Hills, John
    (London School of Economics)


A careful and precise presentation, from leading experts in the field, of the development of the welfare state in the UK. Looking at both historical processes and the welfare systems current state, these excellent contributors provide an authoritative analysis, packed with data. The United Kingdom had one of the oldest and most extensive welfare states in the world. The economic crisis of 1976 and eighteen years of Conservative Government have tested the welfare system to its very foundations. Much changed, yet much remained the same after two decades. Did the Conservative Government dismember the welfare state or reform it? Did the changes of the past twenty years make any difference and to whom? This second edition of the widely-acclaimed State of Welfare reviews the changing fate of social policy in the years since 1974. It details changes in policy but also charts trends in spending in real terms over the period and analyses the outcomes of spending on education, the National Health Service, the personal social services, housing and social security. There is no other consistent published time series of spending on these services over this period in real and volume terms. The General Household Survey is re-analysed to produce a common source of information on the way changes in these services have affected families. Other available sources of information on the impact of past government reforms are drawn upon to provide a comprehensive account. This completely revised edition uses the successful framework adopted in the first volume to bring the story up to the end of the Conservative Administration with the latest available expenditure figures. This adds nearly a decade to the account detailed in the first edition - a decade of remarkable change. The book is clearly structured, with core chapters covering each of the five service areas of education, health, housing, personal social services and social security, and a concluding chapter summarising the key findings of previous chapters to provide an overview of the current state of welfare. Each chapter is then subdivided, with sections on the ultimate aims of welfare policy in the particular area covered, public expenditure, the outputs for that spending, and the outcomes in terms of indicators of individual welfare. Each chapter is summarised in an in brief section at the end, and has a further reading list. Illustrated with approximately 150 figures and tables, the book presents a substantial amount of quantitative information (much of which comes from Local and Central Government sources) in accessible formats. The book contains a substantial bibliography, including many government papers as well as published books and journal articles. The book can therefore be used as a bibliographical database, besides functioning as a textbook. The State of Welfare functions as an ideal text for public economics students, or those studying social or public policy.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780198775904 and published in 1998.

Edition: 2
ISBN: 9780198775904
Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198775904

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Lloyd-Sherlock, 2000. "Failing the needy: public social spending in Latin America," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 101-119.
  2. Peter Malpass, 2004. "Fifty Years of British Housing Policy: Leaving or Leading the Welfare State?," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 209-227, August.
  3. Glen Bramley & Martin Evans, 2000. "Getting the smaller picture: small-area analysis of public expenditure incidence and deprivation in three English cities," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 231-267, June.
  4. John Hills, 1998. "Thatcherism, New Labour and the Welfare State (chapter in "New Labour: A turning point in British Politics", H Kastgendiek and R Stimshoff (eds), Philo, 1999)," CASE Papers case13, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  5. John Hills, 2000. "Taxation for the Enabling State," CASE Papers case41, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  6. Mau, Steffen, 2001. "Patterns of popular support for the welfare state: a comparison of the United Kingdom and Germany," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Social Structure and Social Reporting FS III 01-405, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).


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