W. van Oorschot
- Equity, equality, or need? A study of popular preferences for welfare redistribution principles across 24 European countries
- Journal of European Public Policy
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Although European welfare states receive high levels of public support, insights into what kind of welfare state individuals prefer - i.e. one based on the redistributive principle of equity, of equality or of need - is scarce and fragmented. Using the 2008 wave of the European Social Survey, we find that most European populations share a preference for applying the equality principle to unemployment benefits, while they are divided over applying equity or equality in pensions. Individual determinants of preferences confirm that the "haves" prefer equity over equality, while the "have-nots" prefer the need principle more. At the country-level, cross-national variation in redistribution preferences is low for unemployment benefits but high for pension redistribution. While preferences for pension redistribution are explained by the institutional design, we additionally see that preferences for both unemployment benefits and pension schemes are explained by social expenditure: welfare generosity curbs the preference for equity.
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