Generational conflict affects the supply of public welfare services, and the rising share of elderly is seen as a threat to educational spending. We offer an analysis of spending in child care, primary and lower secondary education, and care for the elderly related to the size of young and old voters. Using panel data from Denmark for the period 1989-1996, we find that the elderly are reducing spending in child care and education, but the young do not threaten elderly care. It is a disadvantage for both the elderly and the young to be part of a large cohort.
Abstract: This essay examines the costs and benefits of the imposition and decay of the modern state in the Middle East for popular welfare. The modern European-style state, and particularly of the assignment of responsibility for welfare functions to the state, is a relatively new feature of the regional landscape. The widespread failure of many of the region’s states to fulfill these responsibilities in the second half of the twentieth century contributed to eroding the already frail legitimacy of formal state institutions, but it did not erase the need for, or expectation of, welfare provision by institutions that transcend private interests. In European and North American polities with long and stable histories of states, many of these welfare functions have been in recent years delegated to a “civil society ” defined and delineated by the state; in the Middle East, the declining capacity of the state has instead been an impetus to imaginative constructions of institutional alternatives—rule by “students ” or “parties of God”--that challenge and undermine the state itself. Yet the stable provision of social welfare seems to require the public service mission and the administrative capabilities of competent conventional states. Development therefore entails rebuilding rather than dismantling the state structures that were legacies of imperialism.