Age in the Welfare State: The Origins of Social Spending on by Julia Lynch

By Julia Lynch

This e-book asks why a few nations commit the lion's percentage in their social coverage assets to the aged, whereas others have a extra balanced repertoire of social spending. faraway from being the end result of calls for for welfare spending through robust age-based teams in society, the 'age' of welfare is an accidental outcome of how that social courses are organize. the best way that politicians use welfare country spending to compete for votes, alongside both programmatic or particularistic strains, locks those early institutional offerings into position. So whereas society is altering - getting older, divorcing, relocating out and in of the exertions strength over the existence direction in new methods - social rules don't evolve to capture up. the outcome, in occupational welfare states like Italy, the U.S., and Japan, is social spending that favors the aged and leaves working-aged adults and youngsters mostly to fend for themselves.

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Extra resources for Age in the Welfare State: The Origins of Social Spending on Pensioners, Workers, and Children (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)

Sample text

And we have detected some evidence that across different policy areas, countries are consistent in the way that they allocate resources to different age groups in their populations. Clearly, some countries spend more on services and others more on cash benefits; some more on active labor market policies and others more on unemployment benefits; some try to ensure equality of access via education, some through the labor market; and others equality of outcome via income supports. Among those countries that spend a lot on their nonelderly populations, some allocate more resources to children and others to working-age adults.

Tax systems both effectively reduce social spending, through taxes on cash benefits, and increase it, through tax expenditures on major social programs. The distributive effects of specific tax policies are notoriously difficult to interpret, which is of course one reason why they play such a prominent role in social policy. Good household-level tax and transfer data would be the most efficient and probably the most accurate way of determining the comprehensive tax-benefit position of different kinds of families.

I derive the country’s housing policy goals from secondary literature (Boleat 1985; Balchin 1996) and from the responses of housing policy officials to a survey conducted by the European Union (EU) on housing policy priorities (Dumon 1992). For some countries, the housing policy priority is to promote home ownership among the widest possible swath of the population. For others, the priority is to guarantee a minimum of fairness in the rental sector, either through direct public provision of rental housing or through protection of renters’ rights in private markets.

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