Type
Article
Titre
Fiscal welfare in Europe: Why should we care and what do we know so far?
Dans
Journal of European Social Policy
Auteur(s)
MOREL Nathalie - Centre d'études européennes et de politique comparée (Auteur)
TOUZET Chloé - University of Oxford (Auteur)
ZEMMOUR Michaël - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques (CNRS) (Auteur)
Éditeur
GB : SAGE Publications
Volume
28
Numéro
5
Pages
549 - 560 p.
ISSN
09589287
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928718802553
Mots clés
Fiscal welfare, social tax expenditures, social division of welfare, welfare reform, privatization
Résumé
EN
This article offers a reflection on how integrating fiscal welfare into welfare state research can shed light on some subtle, yet important, transformations of welfare states and social citizenship in Europe. We begin by clarifying the concepts of fiscal welfare and social tax expenditures (STEs), by reviewing and critically assessing the various related concepts found in the literature. We also map out the empirical knowledge currently available, highlighting the limitations in the available data. Then, drawing on both existing knowledge (developed especially in the context of the US welfare state) and the emerging literature on fiscal welfare in Europe, we identify a number of trends and set out some hypotheses as to why tax expenditures have become a privileged instrument in the field of social policy: not only do STEs appear as a useful instrument to build consensus across party lines in a context of budgetary austerity and strong control of public expenditures, they also enable the discreet privatization of social insurance schemes. Fiscal welfare also allows for a new mode of governing social policy through incentives, which entails a different mode of redistribution than traditional social policy instruments. Finally, we identify the remaining empirical and theoretical gaps to guide future research on the subject.

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