In recent years the welfare state has come under attack from economists, and in many OECD countries there have been calls for spending on the welfare state to be rolled back. Critics argue that the size of transfer programs is responsible for a decline in economic performance and that cuts in spending are a prerequisite for a return to the golden age of full employment and economic growth. A. B. Atkinson takes such criticisms seriously, placing them under empirical and analytical scrutiny
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