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Is German Domestic Social Policy Politically Controversial?

  • Niklas Potrafke


    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

This paper investigates empirically the influence of government ideology on social policy using German data. Examining the funding and the benefits of social security and public healthcare policy, my results suggest that policies implemented by governments dominated by left- and rightwing parties were similar over the 1951-2007 period. Leftwing governments, however, spent more in the 1970s and rightwing governments did so after German Reunification in 1990. Since policy convergence encourages new parties to enter the political arena, and party platforms on social policy matters are likely to undergo further changes in light of demographic change, the observed pattern may thus be a transitory phenomenon.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2011-06.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 26 Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1106
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  1. Michael M. Bechtel & Roland Füss, 2010. "Capitalizing on Partisan Politics? The Political Economy of Sector-Specific Redistribution in Germany," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(2-3), pages 203-235, 03.
  2. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2008. "The growth-inequality association: Government ideology matters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 300-308, October.
  3. Philippe, DE DONDER & Jean, HINDRIKS, 2006. "Equilibrium Social Insurance with Policy-Motivated Parties," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006018, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  4. Benoît Le Maux & Yvon Rocaboy & Timothy Goodspeed, 2011. "Political fragmentation, party ideology and public expenditures," Post-Print halshs-00453174, HAL.
  5. Roland Füss & Michael Bechtel, 2008. "Partisan politics and stock market performance: The effect of expected government partisanship on stock returns in the 2002 German federal election," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 131-150, June.
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