Welfare spending and political conflict in Latin America, 1970–2010

P. Justino, B. Martorano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We study an age-old question in political economy: does government spending on welfare ensure peace? This question was at the heart of the European Welfare State model of the early 20th century, and remains relevant today in face of rising inequalities and political conflict. Yet there is limited empirical evidence about this question. We make use of a panel of 12 Latin American countries over the period 1970–2010 to show that welfare spending has led to substantial reductions in conflict across the region. This effect is more pronounced when associated with reductions in inequality and increasing social and institutional trust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-110
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Development
Volume107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

JEL classifications

  • d31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
  • d74 - "Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances"
  • h53 - National Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
  • i30 - Welfare and Poverty: General
  • n16 - "Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: Latin America; Caribbean"

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Inequality
  • Latin America
  • Welfare spending
  • CIVIL-WAR
  • STATE CAPACITY
  • INSURGENCY
  • VIOLENCE
  • AFRICA
  • INSTITUTIONS
  • HORIZONTAL INEQUALITY
  • POLARIZATION
  • GOVERNMENT
  • INCOME-DISTRIBUTION

Cite this