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Conference Paper Joint Empirical Social Science Seminar

Economic Conditions and Public Attitudes towards Welfare State Policies


Publication date

27 Sep 2006


Can changing economic conditions predict changes in public attitudes toward welfare state policies? More specifically, does public support for governmental provision and economic redistribution increase in periods of economic strain and low employment? This has been a popular hypothesis among political commentators but has been subject of limited empirical scrutiny. The hypothesis is tested using data from three waves of the World Value Survey and fixed effects models at country level following cross-sectional analyses at the level of respondents which control for individual characteristics. The hypothesis is supported by three out of four effects being tested. These effects are largely contextual as individual level compositional effects can only explain a minor part. The results also indicate that the formation of public opinions towards welfare state policies is predictable and rational.

Related publications

  1. Economic conditions and public attitudes toward welfare state policies

    Morten Blekesaune


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