Growing Public: Volume 1, The Story: Social Spending and Economic Growth Since the Eighteenth Century
Growing Public examines the question of whether social policies that redistribute income impose constraints on economic growth. Taxes and transfers have been debated for centuries, but only now can we get a clear view of the whole evolution of social spending. What kept prospering nations from using taxes for social programs until the end of the nineteenth century? Why did taxes and spending then grow so much, and what are the prospects for social spending in this century? Why did North America become a leader in public education in some ways and not others? Lindert finds answers in the economic history and logic of political voice, population aging, and income growth. Contrary to traditional beliefs, the net national costs of government social programs are virtually zero. This book not only shows that no Darwinian mechanism has punished the welfare states, but uses history to explain why this surprising result makes sense. Contrary to the intuition of many economists and the ideology of many politicians, social spending has contributed to, rather than inhibited, economic growth.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - thcson - LibraryThing
The author argues that social spending has contributed to economic growth, not inhibited it, and goes through the historical evidence for this thesis in some detail. It's a bit of a terse book ... Read full review
Patterns and Puzzles
The Road from Home
Taxing Spending and Giving in the Late Eighteenth Century
The Long Rise of Social Spending
The Robin Hood Paradox
Is the Welfare State a Free Lunch?
An Educational Puzzle
Analyses of Local Experience with School Choice
Choice in Higher Education
Subsidized School Choice in Other Countries
Rewarding Individual Teacher Performance
Explaining the Rise of Social Transfers Since 1880
Shared Fears from World Wars and the Great Depression
The Role of Political Voice
How Social Spending Emerged before World War II
Lessons from the Postwar Boom
Since 1980 Aging Has Brought New Budget Pressures
Unlocking the FreeLunch Puzzle
How Welfare States Control the Disincentives
A True but Limited Cost
Reconciling Europes Unemployment with Its Satisfactory Growth
Two CostCutting Principles in Democratic Welfare States
Poor Relief before 1880
How Much Did Europe Give the Poor before 1880?
The Amounts of Public Poor Relief to 1880
How Europe Gave Relief and for What
The Battle over Putting the Poor to Work
Indoor versus Outdoor Relief
Cash versus Aid in Kind
Who Received It
American Private and Public Relief before the New Deal
How Much Public Relief Was Given
Private Charity in the United States and the Crowding Out Issue
Two Attacks on Outdoor Relief in New York
Interpreting the Puzzles of Early Poor Relief
The Reform Acts Voice and the Poor
The RuralUrban Puzzle
Englands Rural Southeastern Bias and the Boyer Model
An Extension to Scandinavia
The International Stagnation of Relief 18201880
The General Pre1930 Pattern of Votes and Social Spending
What Happened to the Race to the Bottom?
Political Voice and Poor Relief
The Rise of Mass Public Schooling before 1914
Patterns in the Inputs into Mass Schooling
Updating the ElitePressure Theories
Capitalist Social Control
Vested Interests within the Educational Sector
The Role of Decentralization
Popular Votes Public Schools
But What Caused Democracy?
Reinterpreting National Histories of Mass Schooling
The English Delay
Rethinking German Education
Decentralized North America
Elites Votes and Schools
Public Schooling in the Twentieth Century What Happened to US Leadership?
Who Are the Leaders?
When Did This Pattern Emerge?
In Inputs into Education
Teaching Inputs per Student
Teachers Pay and Quality
Summing Up the United States Symptoms
The Underlying Incentive Issues
Quantity Incentives versus Quality Incentives
Competition among Schools
The Long Sweep of US School Choice
Votes for Women
The Rate of Turnover of the Chief Executive
Globalization and Safety Nets
The Public Pension Crisis
In an Older World Something Has to Give
Pressures in the OECD Countries
Who Is Least Prepared?
How Will Budgets Be Adjusted?
Immigrants and Pensioners
Returning to a FullyFunded System Is Unlikely
Social Transfers in the Second and Third Worlds
The Aging Trend Is Nearly Global
Special Pressures in Transition Economies
Third World Social Transfers
East Asia Is Not So Different
A Different Kind of Pension Crisis
Global Divergence Convergence and the Robin Hood Paradox
Keys to the FreeLunch Puzzle
The Familiar Cautionary Tales Miss the Mark
Harold and Phyllis
MicroStudies of Labor Supply
Global Growth Econometrics
What Better Tests Show
ProGrowth and Not So Progressive
Recipients Work Incentives
Good Riddance to Old Lemons?
Does the Dole Also Harvest Lemons?
Some Growth Benefits of High Social Transfers
Child Care Support and Career Investment in Mothers
Public Health Care
Why These Keys?
On the WellKnown Demise of the Swedish Welfare State
Swedens Growth and Social Spending Since 1950
What Went Wrong after the 1970s?
The Demise of Swedish Corporatism
What Role for Swedens High Tax Rates?
ProGrowth Social Spending
Investing in Womens Work and in Child Care
Education and Retraining
Why No Demise
How the Keys Were Made Democracy and Cost Control
Democracy Budget Size and Budget Blunders
Illustrative TaxTransfer Blunders
Dutch Disability Policy
The Thatcher Poll Tax of 19891992
On the Tax Side
The Expenditure Side
Hence No Retreat