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The Welfare State as Piggy BankInformation, Risk, Uncertainty, and the Role of the State$
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Nicholas Barr

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199246599.001.0001

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The Welfare State in a Changing World

The Welfare State in a Changing World

(p.263) Chapter 16 The Welfare State in a Changing World
The Welfare State as Piggy Bank

Nicholas Barr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The world is changing: real incomes are rising, income disparity is increasing, family structures are becoming more fluid, the population is ageing, and information and capital flows across national boundaries are instantaneous, increasing international competition. This chapter looks at the welfare state in the context of these forces. The first part of the chapter considers the ‘crisis’ in the welfare state and argues that it should not be exaggerated. The last part of the chapter discusses the ways in which the welfare state will adapt. The conclusion is that the reasons why a welfare state is necessary will not go away; its institutions are robust and responsive; in forms that will continue to evolve, it remains a continuing twenty‐first‐century challenge.

Keywords:   ‘crisis’ in the welfare state, international competition, population ageing, welfare state

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