New Research from the Public Opinion Frontier
46 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014
This paper investigates factors affecting levels of public support for government spending on overseas aid. Previous research has shown that sense of moral obligation and several other factors influence attitudes towards aid in country-specific contexts; however, less is known about drivers of these attitudes across major donor countries in comparative perspective. Here, we offer a theoretically informed model of public attitudes towards overseas aid that emphasizes a parsimonious combination of prudential and moral considerations. We also examine the extent to several other predictors such as ideological beliefs, attitudes towards ethnic and racial minorities and egalitarian value orientations influence aid attitudes. The analyses utilize data gathered in recent representative national surveys conducted in France, Germany, Britain and the United States. Multivariate models demonstrate that public attitudes towards overseas aid spending among the publics of the four countries are strongly affected by similar combinations of prudential and moral factors rooted in more general political beliefs, attitudes and values.
Keywords: benefits, costs, effectiveness, morality, overseas aid, public opinion
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation