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Cem Baslevent and Hasan Kirmanoglu
''Quality of government, egalitarianism, and welfare state attitudes''
( 2015, Vol. 35 No.4 )
The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of the quality of government and egalitarian values on welfare state attitudes. Using data from the European Social Survey, we estimate models in which individuals' attitudes towards the welfare state are explained by their socio-demographic characteristics, income, employment and health statuses, an indicator of egalitarian values, and country-level indicators of the quality of government. Our multilevel model estimates reveal that individual-level characteristics influence attitudes in predictable ways, but the impact of the quality of government and how it interacts with egalitarianism depends on the specific attitude being examined. While the impact of egalitarian values on the attitudes towards more taxation and social spending by the government is larger in higher-quality-of-government countries, the opposite is the case with regard to the provision of excessively redistributive policies that benefit certain groups. Our findings also point to the importance of the distinction between individuals' perceived quality of government and expert-based country-level indicators of government quality. The two measures not only refer to different aspects of good governance, but they also give rise to different empirical methods that might yield different patterns.
Keywords: Quality of government, egalitarianism, welfare state attitudes, European Social Survey.
JEL: H1 - Structure and Scope of Government: General
D6 - Welfare Economics: General
Manuscript Received : May 05 2015 Manuscript Accepted : Dec 26 2015

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