Public and Private Social Welfare

Willem Adema and Peter Whiteford

in The Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579396
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Public and Private Social Welfare

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This article presents the most recent estimates of net social expenditure, with new estimates taking the analysis up to 2005. It also shows that conventional estimates of gross public spending differ significantly from estimates of net public spending and net total social expenditure. Moreover, the article addresses the implications of the more comprehensive definition of welfare state effort for analysis of the distributional impact of the welfare state and for an assessment of the efficiency and incentive effects of different welfare state arrangements. The tax system plays an important role in social policy. Impacts of taxation and private spending on social effort are described. Just as conventional measures of public spending are incomplete measures of welfare state effort, the incentive and distributional effects of private and occupational welfare are usually not included in assessments of welfare state outcomes.

Keywords: social welfare; social expenditure; public spending; welfare state; incentive; taxation; private spending; social policy

Article.  7455 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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