"Social welfare institutions are, however, much more than "safety nets;" if carefully designed and implemented they can enhance efficiency and productivity growth. Cost-effective public provision of health and education can bring about improvements in labour force quality that can, in turn, raise efficiency and accelerate productivity growth. Social welfare institutions reduce social tensions and enhance the legitimacy of the political system, thus providing a more stable environment for long-term investments. Inter-temporal smoothing of consumption through devices like unemployment benefit can even contribute to dampening the business cycle...

"...the fact that all NDCs have developed a common set of social welfare institutions over time (except for the persistent and disturbing absense of comprehensive health care in the USA) suggests that there are some common needs that have to be addressed across countries... necessary to guarantee social stability" (Ha-Joon Chang. Kicking Away the Ladder: Developement Strategy in Historical Perspective. London: Anthem Press, 2002. Page 102).

Colby Glass, MLIS