Economics and Social Security Policies

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Microeconomics I and II, Macroeconomics I e II, Public Economics, Ability to read texts in English

Teaching Methods

The teaching methodology is based on lectures (theoretical-practical). The presentation of the program topics is followed by class discussion. The presence and active participation of students in the class are stimulated by encouraging them to question and discuss the issues examined.

Learning Outcomes

This course intends to: provide students basic knowledge and analytical tools on SS; expose students to different economic approaches of social security (SS); clarify the relationship between paradigms of economic and social policy.

Upon completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Acquire knowledge on the purpose and objectives of SS policies (and their evolution), as well as the organization of SS systems;
  • Acquire knowledge on the economic, social and political context in which SS systems emerged and developed;
  • Understand how different schools of economic thought provide different conceptualizations of SS;
  • Understand how different paradigms of economic policy relate to different paradigms of SS;
  • Develop learning capabilities and a critical reflection on SS issues;
  • Communicate, orally and in writing, knowledge, reasoning and conclusions accurately and clearly.

Work Placement(s)



1- Introduction

  1. Economic insecurity and social security
  2. Social security policies and systems
  3. Emergence and development of social security systems

2-       Economic analysis of social security

  1. The conventional approach on the foundations of state intevention: market failures, paternalism, social justice
  2. The keynesian perspective
  3. The monetarist critique of the Welfare State
  4. Theorethical debates on the nature and viability of pay-as-you-go pension systems

                                                 i.          The debate Lerner-Samuelson

                                                ii.          Feldstein’s view versus the keynesian perspective

3-       Paradigms of economic policy and social policy paradigms

  1. Economic and social policies in the era of expansion  of social security systems
  2. Economic and social policies in the era of retrenchment: neoliberal policies; the social investment perspective
  3. Paradigmatic changes in pensions: pension reforms in Europe and worldwide

Assessment Methods

Periodic or by final exam as given in the course information: 100.0%