The Economic Context

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The economy and social policy have a symbiotic relationship that has developed in
tandem with the development of capitalism.
• We can identify ways in which the needs of the economy and the needs of people combine, but there are also conflicting needs which are managed through the processes of political democracy.
• Economic growth is a factor which is seen to underpin the development and sustainability of social policy and welfare states, but equally social policy is crucial to the achievement of economic growth.
• Problems arise for the sustainability of social policy when there is a mismatch between the raising of tax revenues, the levels of spending required to support the welfare promises made by governments and the extent to which a gap between the two is closed through government borrowing.
• During periods of macroeconomic crisis social policy plays a key role in mitigating the social and economic impact, but economic crises also place social policies under threat as governments seek to reduce levels of spending and debt.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Student's Companion to Social Policy
Subtitle of host publication6th Edition
EditorsPete Alcock
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781119744870
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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