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Potrafke, Niklas (2012): Is German domestic social policy politically controversial? In: Public Choice, Vol. 153, No. 3-4: pp. 393-418

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This paper investigates empirically the influence of government ideology on social policy using German data. Examining the funding and the benefits of social security and public healthcare policy, my results suggest that policies implemented by governments dominated by left- and rightwing parties were similar over the 1951-2007 period. Leftwing governments, however, spent more in the 1970s and rightwing governments did so after German Reunification in 1990. Since policy convergence encourages new parties to enter the political arena, and party platforms on social policy matters are likely to undergo further changes in light of demographic change, the observed pattern may thus be a transitory phenomenon.

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