Age in the Welfare State: The Origins of Social Spending on Pensioners, Workers, and Children

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 5, 2006 - Political Science
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This book asks why some countries devote the lion's share of their social policy resources to the elderly, while others have a more balanced repertoire of social spending. Far from being the outcome of demands for welfare spending by powerful age-based groups in society, the 'age' of welfare is an unintended consequence of the way that social programs are set up. The way that politicians use welfare state spending to compete for votes, along either programmatic or particularistic lines, locks these early institutional choices into place. So while society is changing - aging, divorcing, moving in and out of the labor force over the life course in new ways - social policies do not evolve to catch up. The result, in occupational welfare states like Italy, the United States, and Japan, is social spending that favors the elderly and leaves working-aged adults and children largely to fend for themselves.
 

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Contents

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First Great Divide ca 1900
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About the author (2006)

Julia Lynch is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her recent dissertation, on which this book is based, garnered the Gabriel Almond prize of the American Political Science Association for the best dissertation in comparative politics. Professor Lynch was previously a scholar in the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholars program at Harvard University, and she has been a visiting researcher at the European University Institute in Florence and the Luxembourg Income Study project in Luxembourg

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