Welfare state

A welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for citizens unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life.[1]

Social Expenditure (OECD)

There is substantial variability in the form and trajectory of the welfare state across countries and regions.[2] All welfare states entail some degree of private-public partnerships wherein the administration and delivery of at least some welfare programmes occurs through private entities.[3] Welfare state services are also provided at varying territorial levels of government.[3]

Early features of the welfare state, such as public pensions and social insurance, developed from the 1880s onwards in industrializing Western countries.[4][2] World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II have been characterized as important events that ushered in expansions of the welfare state,[4][5] including the use of state interventionism to combat lost output, high unemployment, and other problems. The fullest forms of the welfare state were developed after World War II.[2]


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