Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Social Welfare Expenditures in the US and the Nordic Countries:
The common view that America spends much less on social welfare than the Nordic countries does not survive closer inspection when we consider the differences in the structures of social expenditures... Per capita net public social expenditures in the U.S. rank behind only Sweden. Add in the private spending, and per capita spending in the U.S. is higher than in all of the Nordic countries.

via Marginal Revolution. The comments at MR point us to the specific numbers from another paper by the same author:
In 1990 purchasing power dollars, net government expenditures by the U.S. in 2003 were $5,408 per capita, which is lower than Sweden’s per capita spending of $6,259 and Norway’s $5901, about the same as Denmark’s 5,472, and higher than Finland’s $4,232. Once private social welfare expenditures are included, the U.S. per capita net public and private social welfare spending rises to $7,850, which is substantially higher than Sweden’s $6,715, Norway’s $6,315, Denmark’s $5,818, and Finland’s $4,920."
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