Event details

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Can we afford the welfare system?    

Newton Fund Workshop Brasilia 2017 Programme

In times of economic crisis, as the current serious one Brazil (and several other parts of the world) is going through, this question tends to dominate political debate.

“Our welfare system does not fit in our budget!”, is a statement often heard from politicians and economists. Social and economic rights such as health, education, housing and minimum income (minimum wages, pensions, unemployment benefits etc) inevitably become a target and cuts in their funding (“austerity”) are often suggested as necessary to tackle the state’s financial difficulties and help the economy to recover.
This workshop approaches this question from a more nuanced perspective. What can or cannot be afforded in terms of social welfare provisions by any given country is the function of a complex combination of normative and empirical factors involving not simply economic ability but also, and crucially, political willingness. The appropriate question is therefore: what kind of welfare system a country is willing to implement within its economic possibilities?

About the workshop

Topic: Inequalities or State Capacity? Making the Brazilian Economy Work for Everyone
Dates: Wednesday 13 September – Friday September 15 2017
Location: University of Brasilia, Brasilia, DF, Brazil

Researchers involved

  • UK coordinator: Dr Octavio Luiz Motta Ferraz, King’s College London
  • Brazil coordinator: Prof. Marcus Faro de Castro, University of Brasilia
  • Mentors: Prof. Anthony Pereira, Brazil Institute (King’s College London); Prof. Marta Arretche, University of Sao Paulo; Prof. Dr Laura Carvalho, University of Sao Paulo