Public Spending and the Role of the State – History, Performance, Risk and Remedies


#ZEWBookTalk with Ludger Schuknecht

The event will take place digitally. Click here to watch the event (no registration required).

Across industrialised nations, the trend is that the role of the state in the economy is becoming increasingly important. Public spending has been rising for decades, and debt levels are growing. The COVID-19 pandemic is additionally driving up the government spending ratio. At the same time, demographic change is causing social spending to climb. All this limits the room for manoeuvre for the future.

Against this background, the question of how governments will shape their budgetary policy after the pandemic and what they will budget for in the future is particularly relevant now. Ludger Schuknecht, a renowned expert on European government spending, examines how OECD countries address these questions in his book “Public Spending and the Role of the State – History, Performance, Risk and Remedies”. His analysis comes at the right time for the debate on what a sensible budgetary policy for the post-crisis period should look like.

In an exchange with Professor Friedrich Heinemann, head of the ZEW Research Department “Corporate Taxation and Public Finance”, Schuknecht will discuss fundamental questions on preserving the welfare state. Is there a danger that too much social spending will stand in the way of investment? How efficient is the public sector as a whole? And: Which tasks should the state take on and which not?

We would like to thank the ZEW – Sponsors’ Association for Science and Practice for its support of the event.



#ZEWBookTalk with Ludger Schuknecht


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Ludger Schuknecht // Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore

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