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The glossary in this Portal provides definitions of core terms closely related to the medium-term expenditure framework; and links to other online glossaries.

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Welfare is the the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being, quality of life. Types of welfare include: ·   Welfare (financial aid), financial assistance paid by the government  ·   Welfare economics, in economics, associated with material benefit or preferred outcomes; see also social welfare function  ·   Social welfare, in social policy, refers to income redistribution to provide a range of services intended to meet people's needs.

Welfare Economics

Welfare economics is a branch of economics that uses microeconomic techniques to simultaneously determine the allocational efficiency of a macroeconomy and the income distribution associated with it. It attempts to maximize the level of social welfare by examining the economic activities of the individuals that comprise society.    Welfare economics is concerned with the welfare of individuals, as opposed to groups, communities, or societies because it assumes that the individual is the basic unit of measurement. It also assumes that individuals are the best judges of their own welfare that people prefer greater welfare to less welfare, and that welfare can be adequately measured either in monetary terms or as a relative preference.

Welfare state

There are three main interpretations of the idea of a welfare state: ·     the provision of welfare services by the state. ·     an ideal model in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens. This responsibility is comprehensive, because all aspects of welfare are considered; a "safety net" is not enough, nor are minimum standard. It is universal, because it covers every person as a matter of right.   ·     the provision of welfare in society. In many “welfare states”, especially in continental Europe, welfare is not actually provided by the state, but by a combination of independent, voluntary, mutuality and government services. The functional provider of benefits and services may be a central or state government, a state-sponsored company or agency, a private corporation, a charity or another form of non-profit organisation.


The well-being or quality of life of a population is an important concern in economics and political science. There are many components to well-being. A large part is standard of living, the amount of money and access to goods and services that a person has; these numbers are fairly easily measured. Others like freedom, happiness, art, environmental health, and innovation are far harder to measure. This has created an inevitable imbalance as programs and policies are created to fit the easily available economic numbers while ignoring the other measures that are very difficult to plan for or assess.