IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Income Inequality and Welfare spending: A disaggregated Analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Moene, Karl O.


    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Wallerstein, Michael

    (Department of Political Science, Northwestern University)

The welfare state is generally viewed as either providing redistribution from rich to poor or as providing publicly-financed insurance. Both views are incomplete. Welfare policies provide both insurance and redistribution in varying amounts, depending on the design of the policy. We explore the political consequences of the mix of redistribution and insurance in the context of studying the impact of income inequality on expenditures in different categories of welfare spending in advanced industrial socieities from 1980-1995. We find that spending on pensions, health care, family benefits, poverty alleviation and housing subsidies is largely uncorrelated with income inequality, but that spending on income replacement programs such as unemployment insurance, sickness pay, occupational illness and disability are signinficantly higher in countries with more egalitarian income distributions. We show that this pattern is exactly what a theory of political support for redistributive social insurance programs would predict.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 18/2003.

in new window

Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2003
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2003_018
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway

Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2003_018. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Magnus Gabriel Aase)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.