- Welfare state values in the European Union, 2002-2008. A multilevel investigation of formal institutions and individual attitudes
- Journal of European Public Policy
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)
This article investigates to what extent EU citizens support three dimensions of welfare state values - developed role of state, equal opportunities and equal outcomes - and whether national level institutions and social policies can explain cross-national variation in these values. Two different mechanisms are distinguished, namely that institutions can have a norm-shaping function and thus are associated with stronger public support or that the public opinion can function as a thermostat if they are dissatisfied with the current institutions. Using data from 150,000 citizens of 25 EU countries between 2002 and 2008, empirical evidence for both the norm-shaping and the thermostat functions are found. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
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