Public social spending varies a lot across OECD countries. Its share of GDP is closely related to the degree of "universality", i.e. the extent to which individuals receive benefits. The lowest figures are currently found in Anglo‐Saxon
countries, while the highest appear in the Nordic countries. This chapter highlights the fact that in countries with highly universal welfare state arrangements, most social spending generates intra‐individual redistribution rather than inter‐individual redistribution
of lifetime income, in contrast to countries whose welfare systems have a strong element of targeting.