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Lo Stato Sociale: da "lusso" a necessità

Luigi Campiglio ()

No dipe0008, DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Politica Economica from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE)

Abstract: Public expenditure, which is the sum of the Minimum State and the Social State, in the 20th century increased in all the major areas of the world: Europe, the United States and Japan. In correspondence with the rise of the GDP per-capita also the tax tolerance increased, beyond the 25% of GDP estimated by Clark-Keynes. This work aims to identify the structural factors that have led to an increase in the share of public expenditure on GDP, with a maximum threshold that we estimate in 40% for the United States and Japan and 50% in Europe. We analyze the historical evolution of public spending with a distinction between functions of a Minimum State and a Social State, distinguishing between the different economic areas and proposed interpretations. The three central factors are: the spread of representative democracy and universal suffrage, the joint effect of the decrease in the birth rate and the increase in life expectancy at 65, the growing and heterogeneous incidence of single-family households. Further growth factors are the rapid increase in disability and degenerative diseases and the persistent presence of harmful jobs, inadequate investments in higher education which slow down growth, job and income opportunities, the environmental emergency as a paradoxical theme of self-defense of the damage caused by oneself, the question of living and land use. We carry out a detailed comparison, from 2010 to 2016, of the expenses for functions, broad and specific, in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden and Great Britain. Social State financing is still tolerable in more organized countries, but requires new forms in countries with large areas of inefficiency: some central functions, such as education and health, are necessary for sustainable growth. The welfare state is not a “luxury” but rather a “superior institution”, to be consolidated and recomposed.

Keywords: Social State; economic crisis; tax tolerance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 H53 N34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 47
Date: 2020-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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