This paper considers the question of what influence J.M. Keynes had on the evolution of the welfare state after the Second World War. First it weighs whether his non-utilitarian approach to economic theory and welfare measurement had an impact on the growth of the welfare state. Then it considers whether the influence came through Keynes’s advocacy of deficit spending. After rejecting both of these explanations the role of full employment in sustaining the welfare state is weighed. The paper concludes with a consideration of what might be necessary in preserving the welfare state in the face of the recent financial crisis and the sovereign debt crises that have emerged subsequent to the crisis.
Keywords: Keynes, capitalism, welfare state
Jel Code: B31, E12, D63