Public Choice

, Volume 144, Issue 3, pp 535–555

The rise of the modern welfare state, ideology, institutions and income security: analysis and evidence


DOI: 10.1007/s11127-010-9673-y

Cite this article as:
Congleton, R.D. & Bose, F. Public Choice (2010) 144: 535. doi:10.1007/s11127-010-9673-y


In the 25-year period between 1960 and 1985, there was a great expansion of welfare state programs throughout the West. The fraction of GDP accounted for by social expenditures doubled in much of Europe and grew by 40–50% in many other OECD nations. After 1985, growth in social insurance programs slowed relative to other parts of the economy. This paper explores the extent to which institutions and ideological shifts may have accounted for the period of rapid growth, for differences in the extent of that growth, and for the subsequent reduction in the growth rates of social insurance programs.


Constitutional choice and institutional analysis Ideological change Public choice Public finance Public policy Social insurance Welfare state 

JEL Classification

H4 D6 P5 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Study of Public ChoiceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsAlma CollegeAlmaUSA

Personalised recommendations