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Where Should the Money Go? A Six-country Comparison of Attitudes toward Spending on Public Pensions and Unemployment Programs

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  • JoEllen Pederson

Abstract

Using both country-level and individual-level theories and indicators, this paper examines attitudes toward government spending on unemployment and pensions, two of the most expensive welfare state programs. I use a basic form of multilevel modeling to test three theories: self-interest, political ideology, and Esping-Andersen¡¯s regime typology. Specificlly, I examine how self-interest and political ideology shape respondents¡¯ ideas about spending on welfare and how these ideas vary across six countries. Based on my results, I argue that attitudes toward unemployment and pensions are not the same and cannot be assumed to be. With that said, Esping-Andersen¡¯s typology can, in fact, be applied to attitudes with minimal variation especially as it pertains to pensions. Self-interest and political ideology theories both impact individual-level differences in attitudes; while these theories measure different ideas of influence, they are both important in understanding peoples¡¯ attitudes about social policies.

Suggested Citation

  • JoEllen Pederson, 2014. "Where Should the Money Go? A Six-country Comparison of Attitudes toward Spending on Public Pensions and Unemployment Programs," International Journal of Social Science Studies, Redfame publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 38-50, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:rfa:journl:v:2:y:2014:i:1:p:38-50
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    welfare; pensions; unemployment; cross-national; public opinion;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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