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Sustainable social spending

  • Assar Lindbeck


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. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 303-324

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:4:p:303-324
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  12. Alessandra Casella, 1999. "Tradable deficit permits:efficient implementation of the Stability Pact in the European Monetary Union," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 321-362, October.
  13. 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.
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  30. Skogman Thoursie, Peter, 2002. "Reporting Sick: Are Sporting Events Contagious?," Research Papers in Economics 2002:4, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
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