What welfare principles do Europeans prefer? An analysis of their attitudes towards old age pensions and unemployment benefits

Tim Reeskens*, W. van Oorschot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Although European welfare states receive high levels of public support, insights into what kind of general redistributive principles Europeans would prefer to be applied in welfare provisions—equity, equality or need—is scarce and fragmented. Analysing 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. But they are divided over applying equity and equality for pension schemes. Individual determinants of preferences confirm that the ‘haves’ generally 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 and cannot be explained by relevant context factors; preferences for pension redistribution depends upon its institutional design and social expenditure: welfare generosity curbs the preference for equity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEquality
Subtitle of host publicationMultidisciplinary perspectives
EditorsFrançois Levrau, Noel Clycq
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter9
Pages295-319
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-54310-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-54309-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • European Social Survey
  • Institutions
  • Multilevel analysis
  • Redistributive justice principles
  • Welfare state legitimacy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'What welfare principles do Europeans prefer? An analysis of their attitudes towards old age pensions and unemployment benefits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this