'The Long Term Trends in Social Welfare Spending in the United States and the Nordic Countries'

Price Fishback, the Thomas R. Brown professor of economics at the University of Arizona, will present the annual Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar lecture on "The Long Term Trends in Social Welfare Spending in the United States and Nordic Counties" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in Valders Hall of Science Room 206 on the Luther College campus.

Sponsored by Luther's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, this lecture is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Despite the notion that the United States and the Nordic regions are opposites in their social welfare spending, Fishback argues that the United States spends the same or more than Nordic countries, but that they do so in far different ways. He uses the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Developments' definition of social welfare spending, which states that it "includes pure transfer payments in dollars and in kind to the poor; spending by social insurance programs like old-age pensions, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and Medicare; and other expenditures on healthcare."

Fishback is the current executive director of the Economic History Association and a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. An award-winning teacher and writer, his research focuses on President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and the Great Depression and their impact on local economies. He has written several books and journal articles, including "Well Work Saving: How the New Deal Safeguarded Homeownership," "Government and the American Economy: A New History" and "A Prelude to the Welfare State: The Origins of Worker's Compensation."

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society, dedicated to the promotion of liberal education and academic excellence, a focus shared by Luther College from its beginnings. More than 1,600 Luther College alumni have been inducted into membership in Phi Beta Kappa since 1983.