Pieter Vanhuysse: Elderly Bias, New Social Risks, and Spending Priorities: Investigating Change and Timing in Eight Programs across Four Worlds of Welfare, 1980-2003

Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 15:00
Seminar Room at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Berggasse 17, 1090 Vienna

Contact: Orsolya Lelkes

Speaker: Pieter Vanhuysse (University of Haifa)

Highlights of the Seminar:
Over the past few decades, all affluent democracies have been coping with two major new societal trends: population ageing, and new social risks (NSR) resulting from de-industrialization. How have these trends affected welfare state spending towards elderly cohorts and new social risk groups? We investigate 20 OECD democracies between 1980 and 2005 with respect to eight separate welfare programs (old age pensions, incapacity benefits, survivor benefits, health spending, family spending, unemployment benefits, active labor market programs, and education spending) and two composite indicators of relative welfare state bias: ENSR (elderly/non-elderly spending ratio) and NSRR (new/old social risks spending ratio). While population ageing mainly drives up pension spending, contemporaneous levels of NSR fail to systematically affect either NSRR or individual program spending. But the timing of the advent of NSR 'on the ground' does play a crucial role, with 'NSR latecomers' recording lower NSRR values as they spend significantly less on programs such as education and family allowances. In addition, even after controlling for population ageing and NSR, institutional differences as captured by welfare regime type continue to matter crucially in accounting for social spending patterns.

Paper: Tepe, Markus S. and Vanhuysse, Pieter, Elderly Bias, New Social Risks, and Social Spending: Investigating Change and Timing in Eight Programs Across Four Worlds of Welfare, 1980-2003 (March 29, 2009). Available at SSRN

International Seminar Series:
The seminar was a part of the series of International Seminars that are organised by the European Centre. More information about our other International Seminars

pdf, 1523 KB, 2009-07-28