New Research from the Public Opinion Frontier

46 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2014

See all articles by Harold D. Clarke

Harold D. Clarke

University of Texas at Dallas

Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson

University College London

David Hudson

University College London

Marianne C. Stewart

University of Texas at Dallas

Joe Twyman

Independent

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

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

Clarke, Harold D. and vanHeerde-Hudson, Jennifer and Hudson, David and Stewart, Marianne C. and Twyman, Joe, New Research from the Public Opinion Frontier (2014). APSA 2014 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2451616

Harold D. Clarke

University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

2601 North Floyd Road
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

Jennifer VanHeerde-Hudson (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

David Hudson

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Marianne C. Stewart

University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

2601 North Floyd Road
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

Joe Twyman

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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