Attitudes Towards Redistributive Spending in an Era of Demographic Aging: The Rival Pressures from Age and Income in 14 OECD Countries

Journal of European Social Policy, 2009

30 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008 Last revised: 29 Jan 2009

Marius R. Busemeyer

University of Konstanz - Department of Politics and Management

Achim Goerres

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute of Political Science

Simon Weschle

Duke University

Abstract

This article is about the relative impact of age and income on individual attitudes towards welfare state policies in advanced industrial democracies, i.e. the extent to which the intergenerational conflict supersedes or complements intragenerational conflicts. On the basis of a multivariate statistical analysis of the 1996 ISSP Role of Government Data Set for 14 OECD countries, we find considerable age-related differences in welfare state preferences. In particular for the case of education spending, but also for other policy areas, we see that one's position in the life-cycle is a more important predictor of preferences than income. Second, some countries, such as the United States, show a higher salience of the age cleavage across all policy fields, that is, age is a more important line of political preference formation in these countries than in others. Third, country characteristics matter. Although the relative salience of age varies across policy areas, we see - within one policy area - a large variance across countries.

Keywords: cleavage, age, income, OECD, ISSP, preferences, welfare state, social policy

Suggested Citation

Busemeyer, Marius R. and Goerres, Achim and Weschle, Simon, Attitudes Towards Redistributive Spending in an Era of Demographic Aging: The Rival Pressures from Age and Income in 14 OECD Countries. Journal of European Social Policy, 2009 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1084997 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1084997

Marius R. Busemeyer

University of Konstanz - Department of Politics and Management ( email )

Universitaetstrasse 10
Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

Achim Goerres (Contact Author)

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute of Political Science ( email )

Lotharstrasse 65
Duisburg, D-47057
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.achimgoerres.de

Simon Weschle

Duke University ( email )

140 Science Drive (Gross Hall), 2nd floor
Duke University Mailcode: 90204
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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