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How Expensive is the Welfare State?: Gross and Net Indicators in the OECD Social Expenditure Database (SOCX)

  • Willem Adema
  • Maxime Ladaique
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    This paper first presents information on trends and composition of social expenditure across the OECD. Gross public social expenditure on average across OECD increased from 16% of GDP in 1980 to 21% in 2005, of which public pensions (7% of GDP) and public health expenditure (6% of GDP) are the largest items. This paper then accounts for the effects of the tax system and private social expenditure which leads to a greater similarity in social expenditure-to-GDP ratios across countries and to a reassessment of the magnitude of welfare states. After accounting for the impact of taxation and private benefits, social expenditure (1) amounts to over 30% of GDP at factor cost in Belgium, Germany, and France and (2) ranges within a few percentage points of each other in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United States. Ce document présente les tendances et la composition des dépenses sociales des pays de l’OCDE. Les dépenses sociales publiques brutes on augmenté de 16 % du PIB en 1980 à 21 % du PIB en 2005, dont les retraites publiques (7 % du PIB) et les dépenses de santé publique (6 % du PIB) représentent les plus grandes catégories de dépenses en moyenne en 2005. Ce document examine ensuite les effets de l'intervention du gouvernement sur les dépenses sociales par le système fiscal et la prise en compte des prestations sociales privées, qui ont pour effet d’égaliser les ratios entre les niveaux des dépenses sociales et le PIB. Après la prise en compte des prestations sociales privées et de l’impact de la fiscalité, les dépenses sociales atteignent plus de 30 % du PIB aux coûts des facteurs en Belgique, Allemagne et France ; enfin les écarts entre les dépenses sociales en Autriche, Canada, Danemark, Finlande, Italie, Pays-Bas, Portugal et aux États-Unis ne sont que de quelques points de pourcentage.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/220615515052
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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers with number 92.

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    Date of creation: 13 Nov 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:92-en
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