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

By Julia Lynch

This publication asks why a few international locations commit the lion's percentage 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 way of strong age-based teams in society, the 'age' of welfare is an unintentional final result of how that social courses are manage. the best way that politicians use welfare kingdom spending to compete for votes, alongside both programmatic or particularistic strains, locks those early institutional offerings into position. So whereas society is altering - getting older, divorcing, relocating out and in of the hard work strength over the lifestyles path in new methods - social guidelines don't evolve to capture up. the outcome, in occupational welfare states like Italy, the U.S., and Japan, is social spending that favors the aged and leaves working-aged adults and kids 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)

Sample text

3) are spottier, but display a similar pattern. 4) – child allowances and services such as child care, public summer camps, or mothers’ aides – follow a pattern similar to benefits geared toward participants in the labor market. ) The overall similarity in the country rankings for spending on labor market supports and on families is perhaps surprising. There is no inherent link between the two types of policies other than the fact that they are both aimed at non-elderly beneficiaries. Perhaps one could make the case that spending on children is a form of labor market support if it allows women to enter the work force, as in Sweden and Norway.

One could interpret these “retirement” benefits not as a transfer to the elderly, but rather as family policy camouflaged for a context in which direct subsidies to working mothers were unacceptable to politically powerful religious forces (Saraceno 1994, 70). Because policies may reflect hidden priorities of policy makers and may benefit more than one specified target group, it is risky to draw conclusions about who social programs are really intended to help based solely on spending data, without going deeper into the political struggles behind the policies’ implementation.

Thus, the structure of welfare programs initiated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries laid the groundwork for different types of spending, resulting in a basic division between youth-oriented universalist and means-tested welfare states, on the one hand, and more elderly-oriented occupationalist regimes, on the other. A second watershed in welfare state development, in the decades around World War II, introduced further variation into the structure of welfare state regimes, and hence into the age-orientation of welfare spending in different countries.

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