The economics of the welfare state /
Nicholas Barr.
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1987.
xiv, 475 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
More Details
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1987.
general note
Includes indexes.
catalogue key
Bibliography: p. 432-459.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1988-01:
The interplay between efficiency and equity in formulating welfare policies is exceedingly complex and difficult to fathom. Part of the reason is that economists tend to emphasize the former and other social scientists the latter with relatively little interchange. Barr begins with a historical summary of the major pieces of British welfare legislation and the factors influencing their passage. While written from the perspective of an economist, the text points out the relative importance of positive and normative positions in devising and implementing welfare programs. Theories of social justice are summarized and their implications for the viability of markets as a solution for societal problems are examined. Particularly interesting is the discussion of insurance and how the failure of private insurance leads to the need for government intervention. Barr examines programs directed toward unemployment, sickness and disability, retirement, health care, education, and housing. Although focused on the UK, the discussion is equally relevant to the US. The more analytical chapters are supplemented by nontechnical summaries so that the book is readable by most professional social scientists. The content is similar to that in E.J. Mishan's Introduction to Normative Economics (CH, Jun '82) and John F. O'Connell's Welfare Economic Theory (CH, Oct '82). Extensive list of references. University collections.-J.F. O'Connell, College of the Holy Cross
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Choice, January 1988
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Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
Introductionp. 3
The historical backgroundp. 15
Political theory: Social justice and the statep. 44
Economic theory 1: State interventionp. 68
Economic theory 2: Insurancep. 108
Problems of definition and measurementp. 129
Cash Benefits
Financing the welfare statep. 167
Contributory benefits 1: Unemployment, sickness, and disabilityp. 183
Contributory benefits 2: Retirement pensionsp. 202
Non-contributory benefitsp. 232
Strategies for reformp. 254
Benefits in Kind
Health and health carep. 277
Educationp. 320
Housingp. 362
Conclusionp. 403
Referencesp. 416
Glossaryp. 447
Author indexp. 455
Subject indexp. 461
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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