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An Essay on Welfare State Dynamics


  • Lindbeck, Assar

    () (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)


The expansion of welfare-state arrangements is seen as the result of dynamic interaction between market behaviour and political behaviour, often with considerable time lags, sometimes generating either virtuous or vicious circles. Such interaction may also involve induced (endogenous) changes in social norms and political pre­ferences. Moreover, the internationalisation process not only limits the ability of national governments to redistribute income; they also increase the political demands for international mobility of welfare-state benefits and social services. I also discuss the dynamics of reforms and retreats of welfare-state arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar, 2003. "An Essay on Welfare State Dynamics," Working Paper Series 595, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0595

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2004. "Reporting sick: are sporting events contagious?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 809-823.
    3. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
    4. John Hassler & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2003. "The Survival of the Welfare State," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 87-112, March.
    5. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, June.
    6. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "The European Unemployment Dilemma," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 514-550, June.
    7. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1996. "Social insurance, incentives and risk taking," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 259-280, July.
    8. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg, 2006. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms, and Social Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1473-1503.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    10. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    11. repec:hhs:iuiwop:557 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Assar Lindbeck & Mats Persson, 2003. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 74-112, March.
    14. Per Johansson & Mårten Palme, 2002. "Assessing the Effect of Public Policy on Worker Absenteeism," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 381-409.
    15. Lindbeck, Assar, 1985. "Redistribution policy and the expansion of the public sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 309-328, December.
    16. Ulf Jakobsson & Magnus Henrekson, 2001. "Where Schumpeter was nearly right - the Swedish model and Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 331-358.
    17. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    18. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    19. repec:hhs:iuiwop:476 is not listed on IDEAS
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    1. SOU 2000:86
      by bergh in Berghs Betraktelser on 2006-11-15 15:55:25


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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Halla & Mario Lackner & Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "An Empirical Analysis of the Dynamics of the Welfare State: the Case of Benefit Morale," CESifo Working Paper Series 2641, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    Welfare State; Welfare-State Dynamics; Political Equilibrium; Social Norms;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General

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