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The Welfare State in EuropeEconomic and Social Perspectives$
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Pierre Pestieau and Mathieu Lefebvre

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198817055

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198817055.001.0001

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Social Spending

Social Spending

(p.26) 3 Social Spending
The Welfare State in Europe

Pierre Pestieau

Mathieu Lefebvre

Oxford University Press

There is a great diversity among welfare states in Europe. This diversity is reflected in the scale of expenditures for social protection systems, their evolution over time and the division of expenditures among programs. This chapter analyses the level and structure of expenditures for the last year for which data is available. Then, it turns to the evolution of social expenditure over time. Even though one observes some convergence, social spending is increasing in almost all countries. One of the reasons for this is the development of entitlements that makes it difficult to dismantle programs that have lost most of their raison d’être. Another issue concerns the international comparison of programs that are public in some countries and private, but heavily subsidized, in others.

Keywords:   entitlement principle, entitlement programs, net social spending, social burden, convergence, mandatory schemes, out-of-pocket spending

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