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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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  1. Sascha O. Becker & Karolina Ekholm & Robert Jaeckle & Marc-Andreas Muendler, 2005. "Location Choice and Employment Decisions: A Comparison of German and Swedish Multinationals," CESifo Working Paper Series 1374, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip & Ozler, Sule & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4553024, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten, 2001. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms and Social Insurance," Working Paper Series 557, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
  10. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392 Elsevier.
  11. Valkonen, Tarmo, 2002. "Demographic Uncertainty and Taxes," Discussion Papers 816, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  12. 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.
  13. Marin, Dalia, 2004. "'A Nation of Poets and Thinkers' - Less So with Eastern Enlargement? Austria and Germany," Discussion Papers in Economics 329, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Peter Skogman Thoursie, 2004. "Reporting sick: are sporting events contagious?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 809-823.
  16. Matthew J. Slaughter, 1999. "Globalisation and Wages: A Tale of Two Perspectives," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 609-629, 07.
  17. Lindbeck, Assar & Niepelt, Dirk, 2004. "Improving the SGP: Taxes and Delegation rather than Fines," Working Paper Series 633, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Assar Lindbeck & Dennis J. Snower, 1989. "The Insider-Outsider Theory of Employment and Unemployment," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026262074x, June.
  21. 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.
  22. Lindbeck, Assar, 1982. "Tax Effects versus Budget Effects on Labor Supply," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 473-89, October.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Baumol, William J. & Batey Blackman, Sue Anne & Wolff, Edward N., 1984. "Unbalanced Growth Revisited: Asymptotic Stagnancy and New Evidence," Working Papers 84-02, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  26. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  27. Buchanan, James M, 1987. "The Constitution of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 243-50, June.
  28. 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.
  29. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Alesina, Alberto, et al, 1996. " Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
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