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Constitutional Commitment to Social Security and Welfare Policy


  • Avi Ben-Bassat
  • Momi Dahan


In this paper we explore whether the constitutional text has any practical meaning for welfare policy. To examine the empirical importance of the constitution, we first constructed for 68 countries an index of constitutional commitment to social security in five areas: Old Age, disability and survivors (OASDI), Unemployment, Sickness, Work Injury and Income Support. We find that the extent and coverage of social security laws is not sensitive to the degree of constitutional commitment to social security.

Suggested Citation

  • Avi Ben-Bassat & Momi Dahan, 2006. "Constitutional Commitment to Social Security and Welfare Policy," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_011, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  • Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c011_011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel Berkowitz, 2005. "American Civil Law Origins: Implications for State Constitutions," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 62-84.
    2. Hafner-Burton, Emilie M. & Helfer, Laurence R. & Fariss, Christopher J., 2011. "Emergency and Escape: Explaining Derogations from Human Rights Treaties," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(4), pages 673-707, October.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229.
    4. Weingast, Barry R., 1997. "The Political Foundations of Democracy and the Rule of the Law," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 91(2), pages 245-263, June.
    5. Momi Dahan & Michel Strawczynski, 2013. "Fiscal Rules and the Composition of Government Expenditures in OECD Countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(3), pages 484-504, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska, 2016. "Post-Socialist Constitutions: The De Jure - De Facto Gap, Its Effects and Determinants," Working Papers 2016-21, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    2. Katarzyna Metelska-Szaniawska & Anna Lewczuk, 2019. "Constitutional Overperformance – An Empirical Study of De Facto Protection of Rights with No De Jure Equivalents," Working Papers 2019-08, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

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    Welfare Policy; Social Security; Constitution; Legal Origins;

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