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Welfare versus subsidies: governmental spending decisions in an era of globalization

Rickard, S. J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7886-9513 (2012) Welfare versus subsidies: governmental spending decisions in an era of globalization. Journal of Politics, 74 (4). pp. 1171-1183. ISSN 0022-3816

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S0022381612000680


To what extent does globalization reduce the autonomy of national governments over spending decisions? Recent theories suggest that international trade puts pressure on governments to cut spending. Empirical studies find evidence of this with respect to social welfare spending in developing countries. However, existing studies leave open the possibility that trade has varied effects on different types of spending programs. Governments may cut spending on some programs, such as social welfare, in order to fund greater spending on other budget items. Using data on central government spending in 44 developing countries, trade is found to decrease spending on social welfare programs but increase spending on subsidies. The implication is that governments in developing countries have the capacity to offset the costs of globalization; however, they do so via subsidies rather than social welfare programs.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Southern Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I38 - Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2012 13:59
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 02:48

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