To Aid, Insurance, Transfer, or Control: What Drives the Welfare State?
AbstractThe paper uses panel data on OECD countries to assess four theories about the forces that generate social spending. The four theories are: Aid: the Welfare State is about helping the poor. Insure: the Welfare State insures the consumption of middle-class voters. Transfer: the Welfare State transfers money to politically-powerful entitled groups. Control: the Welfare State is about controlling the behavior of the underclass. The data give the following grades: Aid D-, Insure C+, Transfer A-, Control D. This assessment is made by regressing the share of social spending in GDP on a vector of country characteristics. The methods involve simultaneous equation fixed-effects models, and they take advantage of some recent innovations in the growth literature involving the treatment of country-level panel data.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 281.
Length: 46 p.
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
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