A Race to the Bottom?

Francis G. Castles

in The Future of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270170
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601514 | DOI:
A Race to the Bottom?

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This chapter focuses on the argument that recent years have seen a ‘race to the bottom’ in social spending. Using comparative data from 21 OECD countries, it shows that social spending has been increasing rather than decreasing in recent decades and that the welfare state has become a more prominent aspect of public policy in most OECD countries. The chapter also shows that adjustments to take account of standards of provision and real spending per capita do not fundamentally alter this picture.

Keywords: globalization; government outlays; race to the bottom; real expenditure trends; retrenchment; social expenditure levels; welfare generosity; welfare standards; welfare state crisis

Chapter.  10284 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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