IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

An Exceptional Nation? American Political Values in Comparative Perspective

  • Karabel, Jerome
  • Laurison, Daniel
Registered author(s):

    This paper compares the political values and viewpoints of Americans with those of citizens of 19 other wealthy democracies. Drawing on the long history of scholarship and debate about “American Exceptionalism,†we ask whether Americans’ positions on issues of governance, taxation, equality, religion, and morality are significantly different from those of people in comparable countries in Europe and elsewhere. Using data from the International Social Survey Program’s Role of Government survey, the World Values Survey, and other sources, we show that, on almost all of these questions, Americans’ views are on average substantially to the right of those of people in our comparison countries: Americans are less supportive of redistribution and government intervention in the economy, are more likely to blame poverty on the failings of the poor, and are by far more religious. These findings confirm that Americans are on the whole more right-leaning than Europeans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and the Japanese.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt4jz523zx.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 05 Dec 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt4jz523zx
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 2521 Channing Way # 5555, Berkeley, CA 94720-5555
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Jacobs, Lawrence & Skocpol, Theda, 2010. "Health Care Reform and American Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199769117.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt4jz523zx. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.