Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2032147
 
 

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Preferences for International Redistribution: The Divide Over the Eurozone Bailouts


Michael M. Bechtel


University of St. Gallen - Department of Political Science

Jens Hainmueller


Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business

Yotam M. Margalit


Columbia University

July 1, 2013

American Journal of Political Science (Forthcoming)
MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-5

Abstract:     
Why do voters agree to bear the costs of bailing out other countries? Despite the prominence of public opinion in the ongoing debate over the eurozone bailouts, voters' preferences on the topic are poorly understood. We conduct the first systematic analysis of this issue using observational and experimental survey data from Germany, the country shouldering the largest share of the EU's financial rescue fund. Testing a range of theoretical explanations, we find that individuals' own economic standing has limited explanatory power in accounting for their position on the bailouts. In contrast, social dispositions such as altruism and cosmopolitanism robustly correlate with support for the bailouts. The results indicate that the divide in public opinion over the bailouts is not drawn along distributive lines separating domestic winners and losers. Instead, the bailout debate is better understood as a foreign policy issue that pits economic nationalist sentiments versus greater cosmopolitan affinity and other-regarding concerns.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Keywords: EU, bailouts, public opinion, political behaviour, redistribution

JEL Classification: F5, P16, F34, D72

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Date posted: April 1, 2012 ; Last revised: July 8, 2013

Suggested Citation

Bechtel, Michael M. and Hainmueller, Jens and Margalit, Yotam M., Preferences for International Redistribution: The Divide Over the Eurozone Bailouts (July 1, 2013). American Journal of Political Science (Forthcoming); MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-5. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2032147 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2032147

Contact Information

Michael M. Bechtel
University of St. Gallen - Department of Political Science ( email )
Bodanstrasse 6
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland
HOME PAGE: http://www.mbechtel.com
Jens Hainmueller (Contact Author)
Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jhain/
Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
Yotam M. Margalit
Columbia University ( email )
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
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