The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Social Democracy

  • Ben Jackson
Reference work entry


Social democracy refers to a political theory, a social movement or a society that aims to achieve the egalitarian objectives of socialism while remaining committed to the values and institutions of liberal democracy. This article examines the historical development of all three forms of social democracy. It shows that social democracy was one of the most creative and durable influences on the politics and economics of the advanced industrialized nations during the 20th century and that, in spite of some setbacks, it retains a distinctive political agenda for the future.


Aggregate demand Bernstein, E. Beveridge, W. H. Budget deficits Business cycle Capital controls Capitalism Corporatism Democracy Earned income tax credits Egalitarianism Equal pay for equal work Equality Full employment Inflation Keynes, J. M. Labour market regulation Marshall, T. H. Neoliberalism Pensions Post-industrial economy Poverty Progressive taxation Public expenditure Rehn–Meidner model (Sweden) Revisionism Social citizenship Social democracy Social insurance Socialism Stockholm School Trade unions Unemployment insurance Utopian socialism Welfare state women’s work and wages 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ben Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.