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Public and Private Stances in Economic Policies. General Historical Notes on Social Services and the Specific Case of Italy in the first half of the XX Century


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  • Daniela Parisi

    (DISCE, Università Cattolica di Milano)


During the first half of the XX century, both in Europe and North America, a profound dissatisfaction with the numerous different social insurance, unemployment, health and old age insurance systems began to make itself felt. The essay deals with the attitudes of the Western world, and in particular with the Italian one. As regards the United States, debate has spread since the second half of the XIX century on the so-called welfare work, and on welfare capitalism. In Europe social security systems began with their establishment by Bismarck’s German government. In the second half of the 19th century the role played by local administrations augmented in several countries. Unfair distribution was considered to be the condition of the system that made it impossible to abolish need. In Italy assistance indicates a vast system of coordinated activities aimed at reforms that may contextualize arising social questions and define policies to solve them. The Italian regime basically followed the German model of welfare state, implementing social insurance in order to integrate and control the country. The solutions sprang from philanthropy and religious motivations, and also from the fear of the poor as potential criminals or rebels. After World War I legislation was issued predominantly on assistance to the disabled and on accident insurance. In the interwar period the solutions were strictly linked to the corporativistic-authoritarian formulation of the Fascist political system. In the immediate post-second WW period politicians and economists were inspired by the principle of universal social security and public services, and favoured interdependence among people in society.

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Paper provided by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) in its series DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi with number itemq0956.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie6:itemq0956

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Keywords: History of political economy; History of economic policy; Social services; William Beveridge; Francesco Vito.;

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Cited by:
  1. Enrico Bellino, 2012. "Pasinetti on Ricardo," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi itemq1258, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  2. Stefano Colombo & Luigi Filippini, 2012. "Product innovation and logistic optimization in a novel urban-type model," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Teoria Economica e Metodi Quantitativi itemq1259, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).


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