Paying for the Welfare State in the European Periphery

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Title: Paying for the Welfare State in the European Periphery
Authors: Dellepiane, Sebastian
Hardiman, Niamh
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/7385
Date: 5-Nov-2015
Abstract: This exploratory paper outlines an approach to the evolution of the tax state in four countries: Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. It is motivated by our interest in a cluster of countries that are all too often excluded from comparative studies in political economy. Both the volume and the composition of tax revenues in these four countries display somewhat different patterns from those of the wealthier European countries. Their systematic exclusion may distort comparative generalizations in important ways. We focus here on three analytical themes that merit further exploration. Each of them helps us challenge the conventional understanding of the dynamics of tax policy. The first is that of timing. These four countries were late welfare developers, which meant that the demands placed on the tax capacity of the state is at variance with trends elsewhere, with implications for the constraints and opportunities available to their governments. The second concerns the specific domestic political economy mechanisms involved in these countries’ tax choices, which can be opened out using perspectives drawn from fiscal sociology. The third theme concerns the international political economy, and suggests that the economic and financial vulnerability of countries on the 'periphery' may influence many aspects of their policy choices, including the size of their tax state and the composition of their revenues. This preliminary version of our work focuses on the experiences of Spain and Ireland; further work on Portugal and Greece will follow.
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. Geary Institute
Keywords: European periphery;Spain;Ireland;Politics of taxation;Economic sociology;Fiscal sociology
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Geary Institute Working Papers

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