- Spring 2011-2012
Special Topics in Public Affairs - The Economics of the Welfare State
All advanced countries have extensive "welfare state" programs that provide insurance against economic losses, support people with low incomes, etc.. But these programs vary widely in extent from the relatively small US welfare state, to the larger welfare states of much of Europe, to the generous programs of Scandinavia. At the same time, there is heated controversy about the effects of such programs. This course surveys welfare state programs, including health care systems, across various countries, analyzes the debates over their economic effects, and looks at the political economy of reform in the US and countries such as France.
Sample reading list:
The Divided Welfare State
Poor People in Rich Countries
Alesina, et al,
Work and leisure in the US and Europe: Why so different?
Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?
McKinsey Global Institute,
Accounting for the cost of health care in the United States
2 short papers and 1 long paper.
Take Home Final Exam - 50%
Papers - 30%
Precept Participation - 20%
Open to Juniors and Seniors Only.
Class number: 42973