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

By Julia Lynch

This publication asks why a few international locations dedicate the lion's proportion 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 by means of strong age-based teams in society, the 'age' of welfare is an unintentional final result of how that social courses are organize. the way in which that politicians use welfare nation spending to compete for votes, alongside both programmatic or particularistic traces, 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 lifestyles path in new methods - social regulations don't evolve to seize up. the end result, 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 principally to fend for themselves.

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

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Age in the Welfare State competition and social policy structures interact over time to produce durable, mutually reinforcing constellations of social policies that mature into either elderly-oriented or more youth-oriented welfare states. Two Watersheds of Welfare State Formation At the heart of the distinction between groups of countries with similar age orientations lie two historical bifurcations in the paths of social policy development. The first split, the basic genetic division between citizenship-based and occupational regimes, occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when modern states grappled with new social and political problems arising from industrialization.

And the complexity of occupationalist programs made it difficult for either the public or policy experts to see the results when politicians offered selective benefits in return for votes. If in Italy the combination of fragmented, occupational welfare programs and particularistic political competition derailed attempts to introduce new universal social programs after the Second World War, the opposite was true in the Netherlands. There neutral state capacities such as universal taxation made it possible to introduce citizenship-based programs fairly easily.

The largest is cash benefits for the disabled, which accounts for between 2 and 11 percent of direct social expenditures excluding health care in OECD countries (OECD 2003b). 3 Sources: Spending data from OECD 2004; demographic data from OECD 2003b. Disability pensions are converted into retirement pensions upon reaching the retirement age in some countries, which means that virtually 100 percent of this category could be safely designated as non-elderly spending. But in other countries disability pensions can be cumulated with retirement pensions, complicating our accounting.

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