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Quality of government, egalitarianism, and welfare state attitudes


  • Cem Baslevent

    () (Istanbul Bilgi University)

  • Hasan Kirmanoglu

    () (Istanbul Bilgi University)


The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of the quality of government and egalitarian values on welfare state attitudes. Using data from the European Social Survey, we estimate models in which individuals' attitudes towards the welfare state are explained by their socio-demographic characteristics, income, employment and health statuses, an indicator of egalitarian values, and country-level indicators of the quality of government. Our multilevel model estimates reveal that individual-level characteristics influence attitudes in predictable ways, but the impact of the quality of government and how it interacts with egalitarianism depends on the specific attitude being examined. While the impact of egalitarian values on the attitudes towards more taxation and social spending by the government is larger in higher-quality-of-government countries, the opposite is the case with regard to the provision of excessively redistributive policies that benefit certain groups. Our findings also point to the importance of the distinction between individuals' perceived quality of government and expert-based country-level indicators of government quality. The two measures not only refer to different aspects of good governance, but they also give rise to different empirical methods that might yield different patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Cem Baslevent & Hasan Kirmanoglu, 2015. "Quality of government, egalitarianism, and welfare state attitudes," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2877-2887.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-15-00276

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    2. John F. Helliwell, 2006. "Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: What's New?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 34-45, March.
    3. Thomas Cusack & Torben Iversen & Philipp Rehm, 2006. "Risks at Work: The Demand and Supply Sides of Government Redistribution," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(3), pages 365-389, Autumn.
    4. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Reciprocity, Self-Interest and the Welfare State," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 26, pages 33-53.
    5. Giuseppe Carone, 2005. "Long-Term Labour Force Projections for the 25 EU Member States:A set of data for assessing the economic impact of ageing," Labor and Demography 0512006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Kumlin, Staffan, 2006. "Learning from Politics? The Causal Interplay between Government Performance and Political Ideology," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 89-114, August.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:95:y:2001:i:04:p:875-893_40 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Stefan Svallfors, 2003. "Welfare Regimes and Welfare Opinions: a Comparison of Eight Western Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 64(3), pages 495-520, December.
    9. Tito Boeri & Axel Boersch-Supan & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Pension Reforms and the Opinions of European Citizens," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 396-401, May.
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    More about this item


    Quality of government; egalitarianism; welfare state attitudes; European Social Survey.;

    JEL classification:

    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics


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