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Public and private welfare activity in England, 1979 to 2019

Reader, Mary Patricia ORCID: 0000-0002-2154-1813 and Burchardt, Tania ORCID: 0000-0003-4822-4954 (2023) Public and private welfare activity in England, 1979 to 2019. Social Policies and Distributional Outcomes Research Papers (SPDORP13). Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London, UK.

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This paper offers an empirical account of the changing landscape of private and public welfare activity in England over the forty years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. It forms a part of the Social Policies and Distributional Outcomes in a Changing Britain research programme and it builds on a methodology devised by John Hills in 1997 and subsequently taken forward by him and successive CASE researchers. The variation in governmental ideologies, aims and policies with regards to the welfare state, and the balance between public and private actors within it, has been significant over the last four decades. But we argue that against a background of strong overall increases in demand for welfare of all kinds, policy changes have in practice produced a consistent direction of travel: away from a “pure public” collective model of financing, providing and decision-making, towards individualised responsibility and private provision. Although high-profile reforms have often produced underwhelming changes in actual shares of expenditure between different kinds of welfare activity, incremental changes have de facto redesigned the architecture of the welfare settlement.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 CASE & LSE
Divisions: STICERD
Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I38 - Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2024 14:18
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:33

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