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Warfare and welfare : the demand for central government spending 1870 to 1938


This study aims to explain trends in central government expenditures in terms of the demand for military expenditures and social expenditures or, more loosely, "warfare versus welfare". The countries covered are Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. European development patterns will be contrasted with the American path. Other countries will be utilized in various comparisons conditioned by data availability and reliability. The period 1870 to 1938 covers formative years in the development of the "warfare state" and the "welfare state", including the decisive moment of the First World War. How did the needs of warfare and welfare interact? Did they prove to be substitutes or complements in the long run? Various models of the provision of "impure" public goods adapted to historical and institutional analysis in the applicant's PhD thesis will be elaborated and tested at different levels of analysis, global, regional, national, and domestic Quantitative findings will be complemented by historical and institutional analysis of the various polities. Economics at Warwick has very strong research skills in the sub-disciplines most relevant to this proposal: economic history, public economics, and econometrics. In addition, members of the department have made original contributions to published research on the role of government in nineteenth and twentieth century European economic history. In addition the Department is a major stakeholder in the Warwick University/ESRC Centre for the Study of Globalization and Regionalisation. The principal benefit for the applicant will come from exposure to the excellent research environment and guidance and evaluation from acknowledged experts in the field. This will help to ensure that my work will be carried out at the frontier of economic knowledge, theory, and techniques. The host will benefit from clear synergies between my proposal and current teaching and research interests at Warwick For example, my proposal should add significantly to the momentum arising from the CORDIS-funded Summer Research Euro-Workshop (8 to 19 July 2002) at Warwick, the theme of which is "Governments and Institutions in Twentieth Century European Economic History".

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


University Of Warwick
CV4 7AL Coventry
United Kingdom