Information For...toggle

Visit the Campaign for Social Sciences website

E-Newsletter Sign Up

Highlights & Special Offers


Download the pdf of our latest catalogue here.

Sign up to our newsletter
 and receive 35% discount on ALL print books on our website

Ebooks and digital

 policy press shorts logo

Find out more about our digital products here, including Policy Press Shorts.  

For 2016 our chosen charity is Unseen UK. Find out more and donate on our Just Giving page.

Discover society logo

facebook logo   youtube logo  Twitter logo LinkedIn logo



Volunteer at Policy Press!

Latest News

Understanding the finance of welfare
What welfare costs and how to pay for it

Howard Glennerster
Paperback, 264 pages, 240 x 172 mm
Other formats available
02 Feb 2009
Understanding Welfare: Social Issues, Policy and Practice series


Add this title to your basket

Own this title? Review it!

North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.

"... a total winner.. provides interest and excellence throughout."
SPA News
"... a brilliant and lively textbook that students will enjoy. It makes the complex subject of financing welfare accessible to all those studying and working in the field". Ian Shaw, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham
"A key text for an introductory social policy module. An excellent combination of solid information and clear, approachable and up-to-date material."
John English, School of Social Sciences, University of Paisley

About This Book

· How are hospitals, schools, GPs and social workers funded? How do the poor pay for their housing? · Is the tax payer prepared to pay adequate pensions to the growing numbers of old people? Will we all have to work longer? · Can western welfare states survive in an increasingly competitive world economy?  These are some of the questions that the second edition of this best-selling textbook tries to answer. It begins by reviewing the range of ways in which basic human needs can be met and summarises in an accessible way the economic literature on why markets and even governments can fail in this respect. In a series of chapters "Understanding the finance of welfare" describes and assesses in detail the ways in which health care, personal social services, education, housing, pensions and social security are funded in the UK. In each case what happens in the UK is compared with the means used in other countries. Since demand always outruns supply, the book considers how these services are rationed and concludes by asking what future there is for the funding of western welfare states.  Much has happened to the funding of social policy and the economy since the first edition of this book, especially in pensions and social care. New devolved assemblies have taken responsibility for setting social policy and their funding has become an issue. In response, much of the book has been revised and all the figures and tables have been updated.  "Understanding the finance of welfare" has been designed to fit the needs of social policy student syllabuses where it has become an essential text. It is also important to students of public policy and economics and those training as teachers, medical students and social workers. But it will also be of interest to the general public because there is no more important political topic today than how social services are funded. 

Author Biography

Howard Glennerster is Professor Emeritus of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has been an advisor to HM Treasury and to the Secretary of State for Health on issues of resource allocation. 


Meeting basic human needs
Market failure and government failure
How to pay for social programmes? The tax constraint
Financing healthcare
Financing social care
Financing education
Financing income security
Financing housing
Rationing scarce resources: managing rising expectations
Do welfare states have a future?


Customers in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei must order from their local distributor

Contact Us

1-9 Old Park Hill,
Clifton, Bristol BS2 8BB
Tel: +44 (0)117 954 5940

View our full contact details.