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Citizen support for the Welfare State: Determinants of preferences for income redistribution

Author

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  • Rehm, Philipp

Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of individual level support for income redistribution by the government. It argues that there are two sources of preference formation when it comes to redistribution. People are either in favor of income redistribution because they are disadvantaged, or they favor redistribution as a means to insure against income shocks. The paper explores both logics, but focuses on the latter. Four risk factors are hypothesizes to influence an individual’s preferences over income redistribution: a) structural change; b) exposure to international competition; c) specificity of skills; and d) occupational unemployment. Some of these measures are novel. The paper relies on the European Social Survey 2002/2003 in order to test the formulated hypotheses. The results show that a) skill specificity and occupational unemployment are important determinants of individual preferences over redistribution whereas b) structural change and exposure to international competition are not.

Suggested Citation

  • Rehm, Philipp, 2005. "Citizen support for the Welfare State: Determinants of preferences for income redistribution," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Institutions, States, Markets SP II 2005-02, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbism:spii200502
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/51219/1/481980709.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mayda, Anna Maria & Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1393-1430, August.
    2. Kenneth Scheve & Matthew Slaughter, 2002. "Economic Insecurity and the Globalization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Beramendi, Pablo & Cusack, Thomas R., 2004. "Diverse disparities: The politics and economics of wage, market and disposable income inequalities," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Institutions, States, Markets SP II 2004-08, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    4. K. H. O'Rourke & R. Sinnott, 2001. "The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence," CEG Working Papers 20016, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paulo Reis Mourao, 2007. "Has Trade Openness Increased all Portuguese Public Expenditures? A Detailed Time-Series Study," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 31(3), pages 225-247.
    2. Cusack, Thomas R. & Iversen, Torben & Rehm, Philipp, 2005. "Risks at work: the demand and supply sides of government redistribution," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Institutions, States, Markets SP II 2005-15, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. Philipp Kroeger, 2014. "Demand for redistribution in the wake of the Great Recession," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 156-165.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Opinion; Preferences; Redistribution; Varieties of Capitalism; Trade; Unemployment; Occupations;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs

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