The Welfare State and Democracy: On the Development of Social Security in Southern Europe, 1960–90
This chapter presents a multivariate time-series analysis of social welfare spending that compares Greece, Portugal, and Spain with other OECD countries, between the years 1960 and 1990. Included in this analysis are factors commonly found to affect social spending (e.g., per capita wealth and population age). These contributed to low levels of social spending in these three countries, but are insufficient to explain lagging program development. Three different measures of democratization, however, produce strong evidence that the authoritarian regimes of Spain and Portugal had seriously retarded program development, while the short duration of the “colonels' regime” in Greece had less of an impact. Indeed, the type of transition to democracy had a discernible impact on policy change: the Portuguese revolution was accompanied by immediate increases in social welfare spending; while the more gradual transition in Spain led to incremental policy change. In all three, democratization has allowed social welfare policies to converge on typical OECD levels over the following two decades.
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