The determinants of social spending in Spain, 1950-1980, Are dictatorships less redistributive?
AbstractMost of the studies about the welfare state have focused so far on the affluent democracies. However, poorer and non-democratic countries have deserved less attention. This paper provides new evidence on the evolution of social spending in both Spain and Portugal between 1950 and 1980. Since both of them were dictatorships throughout almost the whole period, that new evidence allows us to study the relationship between dictatorships and redistribution. In addition to the level of social spending and its distribution among different items, the way in which social spending is financed is also analyzed in this paper. More exactly, the ratio of social security contributions to social spending is used as an indicator of redistribution. The main findings of this paper show that besides economic and demographic factors (as the level of GDP and the ageing of population) political factors are key determinants of social spending and the way in which it is funded. During the time-period 1950-80 dictatorships had a negative effect on social spending, and were more prone to finance social protection via social contributions, which did not imply redistribution through government budgets. Therefore, in contrast to the political legitimacy theories and those theories neglecting the role played by political factors, we find that (at least in the southern-European periphery) dictatorships were less redistributive than democracies. On the other hand, this papers findings also suggest that, rather than provoking a race to the bottom or an increase in social spending levels, globalization favored the adoption of tax-funded systems instead of contributory programs.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 240.
Length: 0 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de CiÃ¨ncies EconÃ²miques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
- I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
- N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
- N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
- H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-06-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2010-06-11 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-POL-2010-06-11 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David M. Cutler & Richard Johnson, 2004.
"The Birth and Growth of the Social Insurance State: Explaining Old Age and Medical Insurance Across Countries,"
Springer, vol. 120(1_2), pages 87-121, 07.
- David M. Cutler & Richard Johnson, 2001. "The birth and growth of the social-insurance state : explaining old-age and medical insurance across countries," Research Working Paper RWP 01-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
- Kristov, Lorenzo & Lindert, Peter & McClelland, Robert, 1992.
"Pressure groups and redistribution,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 135-163, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Espai de Recerca en Economia).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.