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Politique sociale et solidarité péréquative dans un Etat fédéraliste: le cas suisse

Bernard Dafflon

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), 1999, vol. 135, issue III, 455-476

Abstract: Financing social security in Switzerland requires State subsidies for about 22 percent (1996) of total expenditures. The Federal government and the Cantons share this payment in proportion of +2/, respectively -A for six insurances, each time with grant formulas including components of fiscal equalisation. This paper presents and explains the grant formulas for the cantonal payments and proposes an estimation of the equalising incidences. It concludes that the Cantons' financial support for five of the six social security insurances should be abandoned. (1) Nowadays the Cantons have no influence on the development of social security objectives. (2) The grant formulas achieve poor results in equalisation between the Cantons. Better and more efficient results could be achieved through the actual schemes of vertical revenue sharing. (3) The mix of social security policies and fiscal equalisation between the Cantons unduly complicates the political debate and the policy choices in social security, which concerns individuals and not the Cantons. Separation of the two schemes, social policy and equalisation, would enhance efficiency in both policy.

Date: 1999
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