Journal Article

Welfare States in Hard Times

Donatella Gatti and Andrew Glyn

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 301-312
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grj018
Welfare States in Hard Times

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Welfare states have been subject to a host of conflicting pressures from high unemployment, rising income inequality, population aging, tax competition, rising budget deficits and debts, slow growth, and fears that economic dynamism was being stifled by excessive taxes and benefit levels. Nevertheless total spending on welfare has edged up in many countries and cuts in rates of benefit have generally been fairly modest. The generosity of the welfare state has an enormous influence on poverty and income inequality and still appears to be popular in most of Europe. Suggestions that society would benefit from reduced working time must reckon with the fact that it is paid work which generates the tax revenue required to fund welfare spending.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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