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Targeting and political support for welfare spending

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  • Karl Ove Moene
  • Michael Wallerstein

Abstract

This paper investigates the political support for social assistance policies in a model in which incomes are stochastic (so that welfare policies have an insurance benefit) and unequal ex ante (so that welfare policies have a redistributive effect). With self-interested voting, narrow targeting may so reduce the probability of receiving benefits for the majority that the majority prefers to eliminate benefits altogether, even though the cost of narrowly targeted benefits is close to zero. In contrast, a majority of self-interested voters always supports positive welfare benefits when the policy is targeted sufficiently broadly. If voters are somewhat altruistic, the impact of targeting on political support for welfare spending diminishes but does not disappear. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Ove Moene & Michael Wallerstein, 2001. "Targeting and political support for welfare spending," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 3-24, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:2:y:2001:i:1:p:3-24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michaël Zemmour, 2015. "Economie politique du financement progressif de la protection sociale," Working Papers hal-01205217, HAL.
    2. Mathieu Lefèbvre, 2007. "The Redistributive Effects of Pension Systems in Europe: A Survey of Evidence," LIS Working papers 457, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay & Joan Esteban, 2009. "Redistributive Taxation, Public Expenditure, and Size of Governent," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 799.09, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    4. Stephan Klasen & Simon Lange, 2015. "Accuracy and Poverty Impacts of Proxy Means-Tested Transfers: An Empirical Assessment for Bolivia," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 164, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    5. De Donder, Philippe & Peluso, Eugenio, 2014. "Politically Sustainable Probabilistic Minority Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 10085, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Esther Schüring & Franziska Gassmann, 2016. "The political economy of targeting – a critical review," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 34(6), pages 809-829, November.
    7. Tugrul Gurgur, 2016. "Voice, exit and local capture in public provision of private goods," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 397-424, November.
    8. Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra & Esteban, Joan, 2007. "Redistributive taxation and public expenditures," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6537, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Stephan Klasen & Simon Lange, 2016. "How Narrowly Should Anti-poverty Programs Be Targeted? Simulation Evidence from Bolivia and Indonesia," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 213, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    10. Schüring, Esther & Gassmann, Franziska, 2012. "Whom to target: an obvious choice?," MERIT Working Papers 028, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Stephan Klasen & Simon Lange, 2015. "Targeting Performance and Poverty Effects of Proxy Means-Tested Transfers: Trade-offs and Challenges," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 231, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Key words: welfare state; voting; targeting; universal spending; JEL classification: H1; D3;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution

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