PopDigests Policy Briefs Discussion Papers Policy Insights Books and Reports Yearbook Related Content Event - FemQuant anniversary event: Looking back, looking forward News - GGP kicks off GGP-5D project Pop Digest - Are two languages better than one? News - ERC Announced Starting Grant 2022 Principal Investigators Books and Reports - Storia demografica d'Italia News - 'How far have we come, and where are we headed? Reaching 8 billion humans on the planet' Recording Now on YouTube Policy Brief Welfare states as lifecycle redistribution machines Age is more important than status in how social policies operate European welfare states have evolved into sizable and resource-consuming institutions with a total social spending of around 28 percent of GDP and social policies affect every stage of citizens’ lives. But what do welfare states mostly do? Document Download Population & Policy Compact 31/2021 (543.01 KB) Image Key Messages In practice, European welfare states are neither primarily nor solely responsible for inequality reduction They redistribute much more across age than across socio-economic status lines Accordingly, welfare states should be viewed mostly as an institutional solution to the lifecycle consumption financing problem. References Vanhuysse Pieter, Medgyesi Marton, & Gál Robert Ivan (2021). Welfare states as lifecycle redistribution machines: Decomposing the roles of age and socioeconomic status shows that European tax-and-benefit systems primarily redistribute across age groups. PLoS ONE 16(8): e0255760. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0255760 Additional Information Authors of Original Article Vanhuysse Medgyesi Gál Source Vanhuysse, P., Medgyesi, M. and Gál, R. (2021). Welfare states as lifecycle redistribution machines: Age is more important than status in how social policies operate. Population & Policy Compact 31, Berlin: Max Planck Society/Population Europe.