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The Welfare State in Europe: Economic and Social Perspectives

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Although in Europe there continues to be a large degree of consensus that it is the responsibility of government to ensure that nobody who is poor, sick, disabled, unemployed, or old is left deprived, there are mounting calls to roll back spending on the welfare state. It is argued that it fails to achieve its main objectives, that it is responsible for a decline in economic performance, and that it was conceived in a very different period and is therefore not adapted to modern realities.

This second edition of The Welfare State in Europe: Economic and Social Perspectives provides an informed analysis of the key criticisms of the welfare state and examines the prospects of this system in an increasingly integrated world. It answers important questions regarding the current social situation of European countries, the performance of the welfare states, and the reforms that should be undertaken. It calls for fundamental changes in social policies in order to address the rising inequality that hampers social cohesion in Europe.

Now focused on Europe in its entirety and including a new chapter on long term care, this new edition of an integral text on the welfare state places increased focus on social divisions and the populist vote to provide a balanced and up-to-date analysis of the performance of current systems.

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Pestieau Pierre
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Pierre Pestieau is Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of Liege, Belgium. He is also a member of CORE, Louvain-la-Neuve, associate member of PSE, Paris, and CESIfo Fellow. Previously, he has taught at Cornell University. His major interests are pension economics, social insurance, inheritance taxation, and redistributive policies. His books include Social Security and Retirement (MIT Press, 2005) and The Welfare State in the European Union (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Mathieu Lefebvre is an Associate Professor at the University of Strasbourg, where he is a member of the Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée. Previously, he has held positions at the University of Lyon and the University of Montpellier. His research is in the areas of public economics, labour economics and behavioural economics and includes, among others, the evaluation of labour market policies towards the elderly, the performance of social protection and the poverty measurement at old age.

1: Introduction

2: Poverty and Inequality

3: Social Spending

4: Revenue Sources

5: Types of Social Protection

6: Social Insurance and Globalization

7: Welfare State and Economic Efficiency

8: Performance and Efficiency of the Welfare State

9: Social versus Private Insurance

10: Old Age Pensions

11: Health Care

12: Long Term Care

13: Unemployment and Poverty

14: Family Allowances

15: Conclusion

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