La perception de la pauvreté dans un monde globalisé
Relying on the World Value Survey data, this paper explores what individuals consider as the most important problems in the world in a sample of about 50 countries. The paper focuses particularly on the fact to prioritize poverty as the most important problem, as poverty constitutes an important dimension of inequalities. Differences between countries appear: the richer the country, the less poverty is considered as the most important problem. To explain these differences, two hypotheses are investigated: either these different perceptions result from different cultural and historical contexts, or from a different level of economic and social development, suggesting that all countries converge towards a unique model. At the country level, we register differences among geographical areas, largely due to the unequal degree of development. At the individual level, two results emerge. First, priority given to poverty as the most important world problem is linked with the prioritizing poverty as the most important problem in one’s own country. Second, the person’s own relative social position has also an influence: the more advantaged people prove less sensitive to poverty. Political attitudes (opinion about redistribution, ideological orientation on the left-right scale) also exert an influence: a leftist orientation or being favorable to redistribution are associated with a greater sensitivity towards poverty as a world problem. Finally, multilevel models confirm the weight of individual factors and the relatively weak impact of specific national contexts. JEL Classification codes : I30, I32, Z13.
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