This chapter looks specifically into core in-cash benefits in different welfare state areas. These elements of public sector activity are presented as they are of great importance for the living standard of large groups in societies, and in most developed economies they make up a very large part of the total public sector expenditure. A central issue includes why there can be efficiency gains to achieve if benefits are provided collectively instead of by individual payments and/or insurance. Benefits discussed include pensions, social assistance and unemployment, as well as early retirement benefit as well as a few others.
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