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Sustainable Social Spending

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.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 646.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 24 Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0646
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Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. Dahlberg, Matz & Forslund, Anders, 1999. "Direct Displacement Effects of Labour Market Programmes: The Case of Sweden," Working Paper Series 1999:22, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "‘A Nation of Poets and Thinkers’ - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 77, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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  17. Lindbeck, Assar & Niepelt, Dirk, 2004. "Improving the SGP: Taxes and Delegation Rather than Fines," Seminar Papers 733, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  19. repec:hhs:iuiwop:476 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
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  26. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  27. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1999. "Pension Reform and Demographic Crisis: Why a Funded System is Needed and why it is not Needed," CESifo Working Paper Series 195, CESifo Group Munich.
  28. Hesselius, Patrik & Johansson, Per & Larsson, Laura, 2005. "Monitoring sickness insurance claimants: evidence from a social experiment," Working Paper Series 2005:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  29. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  30. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "A Nation of Poets and Thinkers - Less so with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  32. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  33. Matthew J. Slaughter, 1999. "Globalisation and Wages: A Tale of Two Perspectives," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 609-629, 07.
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