Working Paper No. 1109

The Future of Welfare Services: How Worried Should We Be about Wagner, Baumol and Ageing?

Published: February 12, 2016Pages: 16Keywords: Welfare services; Redistribution; Baumol’s disease; Wagner’s law; Population aging JEL-codes: H11; I38; J11; J18
Published version

The Future of Welfare Services: How Worried Should We Be about Wagner, Baumol and Ageing? Andreas Bergh

Welfare services are an important part of the Nordic welfare states both financially and for welfare state redistribution. Baumol’s cost disease, Wagner’s law, and population ageing are often said to bring challenges for the future provision of welfare services.

While none of the three poses an immediate threat against the financial sustainability of the welfare state, they have important implications for distribution and for the political support for the welfare state. The combination demographic change, a higher relative price of welfare services and increasing demand for welfare services may force politicians to make a difficult choice between increasing taxes, allowing people to top up publicly financed services with additional private financing, or risk eroding support for the welfare state.

Andreas Bergh


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Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

Sick of Inequality.jpg

In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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