National Institutions and Individual Social Policy Preferences
50 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 28 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2009
Two strands of analysis have recently dominated comparative political economists’ views of social policy preferences and outcomes. On the one hand, the Varieties of Capitalism project has focused on the importance of national-level complementary institutions that promote varied configurations of social policy outcomes across advanced industrial states. On the other hand, there has been a growing interest in individual policy preferences, with theorists stipulating theories about how individual-level characteristics like education, income, and skill specificity affect support for social policies. While these analyses often draw on similar theoretical mechanisms, particularly asset specificity, scholars have not yet examined how national-level policies condition individual-level factors affecting social policy preferences. This paper connects both literatures, developing simple theoretical expectations, and testing these propositions on multiple cross-national survey datasets.
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