Working Paper No. 595

An Essay on Welfare State Dynamics

Published: May 15, 2003Pages: 27Keywords: Welfare State; Welfare-State Dynamics; Political Equilibrium; Social Norms JEL-codes: H10; H50

An Essay on Welfare State Dynamics Assar Lindbeck


The expansion of welfare-state arrangements is seen as the result of dynamic interaction between market behaviour and political behaviour, often with considerable time lags, sometimes generating either virtuous or vicious circles. Such interaction may also involve induced (endogenous) changes in social norms and political pre­ferences. Moreover, the internationalisation process not only limits the ability of national governments to redistribute income; they also increase the political demands for international mobility of welfare-state benefits and social services. I also discuss the dynamics of reforms and retreats of welfare-state arrangements.

 

Assar Lindbeck

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