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The Future of the Welfare StateCrisis Myths and Crisis Realities$
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Francis G. Castles

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270170

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199270171.001.0001

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A Race to the Bottom?

A Race to the Bottom?

(p.21) 2 A Race to the Bottom?
The Future of the Welfare State

Francis G. Castles (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the argument that recent years have seen a ‘race to the bottom’ in social spending. Using comparative data from 21 OECD countries, it shows that social spending has been increasing rather than decreasing in recent decades and that the welfare state has become a more prominent aspect of public policy in most OECD countries. The chapter also shows that adjustments to take account of standards of provision and real spending per capita do not fundamentally alter this picture.

Keywords:   globalization, government outlays, race to the bottom, real expenditure trends, retrenchment, social expenditure levels, welfare generosity, welfare standards, welfare state crisis

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