ARTICLE TITLE: Social Policy: Scientific Justification Unresolved Problem
AUTHORS: Tambovtsev V.
ABSTRACT: The factors determine state social policies parameters such as budget expenditures on education, health sphere, social protection, and so on financing, are in the focus of academics very long time, and are discussed in the voluminous theoretic and empiric literature. The reason for this attention is obvious: the researchers believe that scientific justification of the social policies parameters gives possibilities to harmonize these ones with the interests of stakeholders, such as the voting public, politicians, and bureaucrats. This harmony in turn will be enhance social welfare and reduce social tensions hence promoting social policy goals fulfillment. This article author analyze the efforts to reveal quantitative linkage between some economic and political indicators on the one hand, and social policies parameters, on the other hand using econometrics tools. It is shown that these researches have revealed some partial and local associations taking place at certain periods of time although general regularity is meanwhile unknown. In this regard two qualitative approaches to justify the social policies parameters are analyzed: (1) based on bounded rationality and nudge, and (2) based on merit goods conception. Studying these approaches demonstrates that they are irrelevant to the problem of social policies parameters justification. General conclusion is made that these parameters are the result of the politicians discretional decisions following different goals at the different periods of time so the discovery of objective regularities is unlikely possible one.
KEYWORDS: social policy , budget expenditure , bounded rationality , nudge , merit goods