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Government Redistribution and Public Opinion: A Matter of Contention or Consensus?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Sociology, ISSN 0020-7659, E-ISSN 1557-9336, Vol. 49, no 3, p. 204-221Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous comparative research has been guided by the idea that the level of government redistribution accords with the degree of consensus on redistribution among citizens. By extending the scope of analysis to non-Western rich democracies, I offer an alternative account that associates public opinion with actual redistribution. I argue that it is not a broad consensus but a clearly formed contention among citizens that concurs with more redistributive governments. Using the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) 2016 data, this study compares social cleavages in redistributive preferences in 23 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Countries with the least egalitarian governments, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Chile, and Israel, have broadly consented high-levels of support for redistribution. What distinguishes them from more redistributive countries is that those common redistributive cleavages such as income, education, and gender are either nonexistent or weak, indicating that the economically disadvantaged do not prefer redistribution significantly more than the advantaged. The statistical results support an explanation of the association between redistributive preferences and the size of redistribution based on “cleavage” rather than “consensus.”

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 49, no 3, p. 204-221
Keywords [en]
Government redistribution, redistributive preferences, social cleavages, non-Western OECD countries, ISSP
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169611DOI: 10.1080/00207659.2019.1605029ISI: 000468732500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169611DiVA, id: diva2:1322773
Available from: 2019-06-11 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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