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Risks at work: the demand and supply sides of government redistribution

  • Cusack, Thomas R.
  • Iversen, Torben
  • Rehm, Philipp
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    To understand how the welfare state adjusts to economic shocks it is important to explain both the genesis of popular preferences and the institutional incentives of governments to respond to these preferences. This paper attempts to do both, using a general theoretical framework and detailed data at both the individual and national levels. In a first step, we focus on how risk exposure and income are related to preferences for redistribution. To test our hypotheses, we extract detailed risk exposure measures from labor force surveys and marry them to cross-national survey data. In a second step, we turn our attention to the supply side of government redistribution. Institutions, we argue, mediate governments’ reactions to redistributional demands following economic shocks. Using time-series cross-country data, we demonstrate how national training systems, electoral institutions as well as government partisanship shape government responses.

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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 2005-15.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbism:spii200515
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    1. 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).
    2. Peter Lloyd & Xiao-guang Zhang, 2000. "Introduction," Chapters, in: China in the Global Economy, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
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