Lezioni di Economia del Welfare

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Welfare Economics lessons

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The subject of the book is a review of the literature on the economic role of the welfare state with reference to the Italian situation. The reforms of social policies already implemented in the last decade and the problematic changes in a federal administrative frame of the State have both to be taken into account. The first part of the book contains an overview of the theory and institutions of the welfare state, and pays particular attention to newer approaches that introduce the correctives to the information failure of the market institutions as a major strategic task of the welfare state in a modern prospective. Asymmetric information makes individual decisions inefficient and ineffective and the presence of widespread macroeconomic uncertainty and of forms of risk that can not be measured in an actuarial contest, introduces new strategic functions in the traditional welfare state frames. The second part of the book addresses the theoretical debate on the concept of inequalities in income and welfare distributions and introduces the empirical methodologies to measure concepts of inequality based on alternative structures of social welfare functions and synthetic inequality indicators. Many analyses have underlined the increasing share of government expenses for social purposes in many European countries and the need to reform many of the traditional instruments of the welfare state, especially in the Mediterranean area. Before introducing social reforms, it is crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of any single instruments of the Italian welfare state in terms of reducing inequality, poverty and social exclusion of individuals and families. This could mean, first, to analyze the mechanisms of incentives that can produce efficient and effective results in redistribution and in the reduction of the poverty levels and, second, to address the process of institutional review of social policies along these lines. In this sense, the final chapter studies the reform of social policies introduced in Italy in the period 2000/2005. In the first part contains a review of the literature on incentives in the procedures of targeting of social policies to combat poverty, with particular attention to issues relevant for the Italian economy. The second part describes the introduction of social policy reforms in a federal frame of the central government and discusses the difficulties for the subsequent application of the relevant critical interventions at the local level. This federal approach can represent a transformation of the traditional central welfare state into new forms of local welfare institutional frames, especially in some Italian regions of the North.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Welfare Economics lessons
Original languageItalian
PublisherISU - Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Number of pages317
ISBN (Print)978-88-8311-485-4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Italian welfare state
  • diseguaglianza
  • income inequality
  • povertà
  • riforma politiche sociali
  • ruolo stato sociale
  • social policy reform


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