Welfare State and redistribution:
the role of universalism and targeting
Notwithstanding many theoretical contributions, few studies have so far analyzed in quantitative terms the link between Welfare State and redistribution. Besides, such studies have many methodological shortcomings, concerning both how redistribution is computed and how Welfare State features are synthesized through indexes. After having described the trend of inequality in the last twenty years in the developed countries, in the first part of the paper we will critically review such shortcomings. Then, we will focus on one of the most crucial dimensions of welfare systems, i.e. the choice between universal or targeted schemes, and, surveying the existing literature, we compare the pros and cons of both schemes and their impact on inequality and redistribution.