Since Bismarck’s introduction of social security in Germany in 1891 a large number of countries have adopted social security systems. The growth of social security in the postwar period has been particularly rapid. In some countries, such as the United States, social security has become a major, if not the major fiscal institution. Because of its scale, method of finance, and role in providing insurance, social security may be greatly influencing the performance of a number of economies, particularly with respect to their rates of saving and employment.
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