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Exploring Convergence in some OECD Public Social Expenditure Trends

De Simone, Elina and Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio and Ercolano, Salvatore (2010): Exploring Convergence in some OECD Public Social Expenditure Trends.

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Abstract

Triggered by the phenomenon of globalisation, during recent years there has been a process of State policy rationalisation in the social expenditure domain; hence the debate over the present role and dimension of welfare state has intensified. Following on the extensive multidisciplinary literature on this issue, the purpose of this paper is two-fold 1) to apply a more traditional analysis of convergence (sigma and beta convergence) in public social expenditures and 2) to analyse public social expenditure allocation expressed as a % of GDP and derive a possible classification of the countries by means of a multivariate approach. We conclude by explaining some similarities in the expenditure behaviour of certain countries in terms of the policy transfer process. Our results can be interpreted as a further contribution to the literature on contemporary public policy evaluation in the welfare domain.

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