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Discerning Self-Interested Behavior in Attitudes Towards Welfare State Responsibilities Across Europe

International Journal of Social Welfare, Forthcoming

15 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2010  

Cem Baslevent

Istanbul Bilgi University - Department of Economics

Hasan Kirmanoglu

Istanbul Bilgi University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 16, 2010

Abstract

This article reports on an investigation into the influence of individual characteristics on attitudes to government responsibility for welfare-related tasks that used data from the European Social Survey (ESS). The main finding of this investigation was that socio-demographic characteristics, basic personal values, left-right ideological positions, and religious affiliation were all associated with attitudes towards welfare policies. An item-by-item examination of the six issues inquired about in the survey revealed that people tended to hold the government responsible for tasks that would benefit them more directly. Taken as a whole, the empirical findings were interpreted to mean that individuals’ tastes for welfare state policies were driven, at least partially, by self-interest, but it was also noted that further work was needed to disentangle the potential role of group loyalty effects.

Keywords: self-interest, welfare state responsibilities, basic personal values, European Social Survey.

JEL Classification: H5

Suggested Citation

Baslevent, Cem and Kirmanoglu, Hasan, Discerning Self-Interested Behavior in Attitudes Towards Welfare State Responsibilities Across Europe (July 16, 2010). International Journal of Social Welfare, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1641130

Cem Baslevent (Contact Author)

Istanbul Bilgi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Kustepe
Susli
Istanbul, 80310
Turkey

Hasan Kirmanoglu

Istanbul Bilgi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Inonu Cad. No:28 Kustepe
Kustepe, Istanbul, 80310
Turkey
+90 (212) 216 22 22 (Phone)
+90 (212) 216 84 78 (Fax)

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