Comparative Welfare Entitlements Dataset

Research project

This Comparative Welfare Entitlements Dataset was compiled by Lyle Scruggs (University of Connecticut), and consists of six datasets on institutional features of social insurance programmes in 18 countries spanning much of the post-war period. Its purpose is to provide an essential complement to programme spending data that is available from international sources like the OECD’s Social Expenditure Database. The dataset has been used by Scruggs in several studies of welfare state issues.


Comparative Welfare Entitlement Dataset

Comparative Welfare Entitlement Dataset


Comparative Welfare Entitlements Dataset


Excel, Stata




18 countries

Last reviewed


Data types and sources

Expert-coded variables and data from official registers, national accounts and surveys. The sources are mainly international organisations, such as the OECD, and national registers.

Data download

Comparative Welfare Entitlements Dataset


The six separate datasets all provide information about different institutional features of national social insurance programmes, covered in 52 common variables in addition to a few country-specific variables.

Geographical coverage

The dataset covers 18 OECD countries, of which 13 are from (western) Europe.

Time coverage and updates

Most variables contain annual data for the years 1961-2002, but first data for some variables are earlier or later than 1961. Updates were originally planned every three years, but are contingent on funding. Last updated in 2006.


A common codebook for all six datasets is provided, with explanations of how the variables were constructed and with information on the sources of the data. Further details about how particular variables are coded are available in the replacement rate table notes, and insurance coverage notes, and in the specific country notes sections of the codebook.

Access conditions and cost

Available free of charge.

Access procedures

Predefined table.

Data formats

Excel and Stata.

Comparability and data quality

Not examined.

Electronic resource