Comparative study of government expenditure on social protection in the Visegrád Group and Benelu

Socio-economic policies aim to promote equitable income distribution, with social protection playing a crucial role. Balancing equality and efficiency in redistribution poses a challenge for policy-makers. The welfare state-market compatibility dilemma and its impact on incentives are primary concerns. This study evaluates government expenditures on social protection in Benelux and Visegrád Group (V4) countries from 1995 to 2021. Trends in expenditure share indicate varying fiscal policy behaviors: Visegrád Group countries show convergence in expenditure share, while Benelux countries exhibit divergence. The structure of social protection spending also differs, with old age being a dominant category. These findings provide insights into welfare systems and can guide policy decisions in European regions