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Friday 17th July, 11:00 - 12:30 Room: N-132

Comparative Welfare Research: Actors, Arenas, Attitudes 1

Convenor Dr Joakim Kulin (Department of Sociology, Stockholm University )
Coordinator 1Dr Jan Mewes (School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University)

Session Details

This session invites papers from different areas of comparative welfare research, with a particular interest in studies making use of cross-national survey data. Our interest goes beyond the by now established field of comparative welfare state research as it invites papers that focus on a multitude of actors and arenas related to public welfare and the production of collective goods. In this respect, we invite papers that address the configuration of, and public attitudes towards, state and market based welfare institutions. A broad range of paper submissions is encouraged, including a variety of methods and theoretical perspectives. In particular, we seek substantive applications in the broader field of welfare research that use rigorous and state-of-the-art methods. For instance, cross-national welfare research has for a long time been dominated by operationalizations that can be seriously questioned in terms of validity and equivalence (e.g., additive indices). Therefore, we welcome paper submissions that take seriously the issues of measurement quality and the cross-national comparability of measurements. Additionally, we also encourage submissions that exploit the full potential of survey data, such as for example vignette studies and survey experiments.

Paper Details

1. Don't ask what your nation can do for you... National identity and individual attitudes towards welfare issues
Professor Annette Schnabel (University of Wuppertal)

The presentation focuses on the effect of national heterogeneity on people’s support for welfare states, in particular towards redistribution and taxation. Objective qualities of heterogeneity refer to objectively measurable differences like the degree of language fragmentation or diversity of religious affiliations. Subjective qualities refer to individually perceived degree of heterogeneity and to the individual affiliation towards the national “imagined community”. Does the degree of heterogeneity of a national community have any influence on the willingness to support redistribution this community? Analyses on the basis of the ESS suggest that acceptance of taxation and of redistribution depend differently on national

2. Migrants‘ Preferences for State-provided Welfare. Evidence from Germany
Dr Alexander Schmidt-catran (Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology - University of Cologne)
Dr Romana Careja (Department of Political Science and Public Management - University of Southern Denmark)

In this paper, we use panel data from Germany to analyze welfare preferences of natives’ and migrants’ over time. We employ measurement models to isolate different dimensions of welfare attitudes and test for their equivalence across time and cultural groups. Our results indicate that natives’ and migrants’ preferences for state-vs-market based welfare provision differ from each other for recent migrants but converge over time. This indicates that culture is a determinant of welfare attitudes but this effect is not stable over time. In contrast, our results point to a socializing effect of the host societies’ welfare regime.

3. The effect of immigration on support for redistribution re-examined: survey experiments in three European countries
Dr Elias Naumann (University Mannheim)
Mr Lukas Stoetzer (University Mannheim)

In times of globalization scholars put considerable effort into understanding the consequences of immigration for the welfare state. In this paper we use a new survey experiment to re-examine the relationship between immigration and support for redistribution. The survey experiment is part of representative onlinepanels in Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands. We find that the effect of immigration depends on the institutional context: In Norway we find a negative effect of increased immigration on support for redistribution whereas there is no such an effect in Germany. Moreover, we find that the effect is moderated by respondents’ ideology and education.

4. Self-Interest, Insecurity or Empathy: What's behind Popular Support for the Welfare State in Times of Economic Crisis?
Dr Patrick Sachweh (Goethe University Frankfurt)

What’s behind popular support for the welfare state during times of economic crisis? While existing research highlights the role of self-interest, I contend this conclusion is based on a too narrow conceptualization and measurement of citizen’s crisis experiences. Using a Eurobarometer survey measuring different kinds of crisis experiences, I distinguish between self-interest, insecurity and empathy and analyze how these motives relate to welfare state support in the UK, Germany, and Sweden. In the UK, welfare state support is primarily associated with citizens’ self-interest, while in Sweden it is primarily based on empathy.