T. van der Meer
- Welfare state expenditure and inequalities in voluntary association participation
- Journal of European Social Policy
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
There are large gaps in associational involvement along education, income and gender lines and across different organizations. This paper examines the extent to which these gaps vary across countries. We argue that, next to the discussion about crowding out effects that is often found in the literature, it is important to look at conditioning effects of welfare states. Through welfare state policies, resources are redistributed in society. In turn, these resources enable participation in voluntary associations and organizations. Our analyses — based on multi-level models and data of the European Social Survey — indicate that extensive welfare state expenditures reduce participatory inequalities, with some variation according to the kind of organization under study. Our findings suggest that conditioning effects of welfare states deserve greater attention in research and that participatory inequalities may be reduced by social policy.
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