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Sustainable Social Spending

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  • Assar Lindbeck

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1594.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1594

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Related research

Keywords: sustainable fiscal policy; Baumol’s disease; moral hazard; automatic adjustment mechanisms;

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References

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  1. Sascha O. Becker & Karolina Ekholm & Robert Jaeckle & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2005. "Location Choice and Employment Decisions: A Comparison of German and Swedish Multinationals," CESifo Working Paper Series 1374, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Assar Lindbeck & Mats Persson, 2006. "A Model of Income Insurance and Social Norms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1675, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Lindbeck, Assar & Niepelt, Dirk, 2004. "Improving the SGP: Taxes and Delegation rather than Fines," Working Paper Series 633, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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  13. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 9-15, May.
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  16. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  17. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C1-33, March.
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  19. Jones, Ronald W. & Kierzkowski, Henryk, 2005. "International fragmentation and the new economic geography," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, March.
  20. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  21. Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per & Larsson, Laura, 2005. "Monitoring sickness insurance claimants: evidence from a social experiment," Working Paper Series 2005:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  22. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  23. Matthew J. Slaughter, 1999. "Globalisation and Wages: A Tale of Two Perspectives," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 609-629, 07.
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  25. Baumol, William J & Blackman, Sue Anne Batey & Wolff, Edward N, 1985. "Unbalanced Growth Revisited: Asymptotic Stagnancy and New Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 806-17, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Torben Andersen, 2007. "The Scandinavian Model – Prospects and Challenges," CESifo Working Paper Series 1903, CESifo Group Munich.

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