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

  • Rehm, Philipp
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    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.

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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/51219/1/481980709.pdf
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    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Institutions, States, Markets with number SP II 2005-02.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbism:spii200502
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    1. Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University) and Dani Rodrik (Harvard University), 2005. "Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist than others?," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Kenneth Scheve & Matthew Slaughter, 2002. "Economic Insecurity and the Globalization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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).
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