Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Reform Pressures and Perceived Welfare State Sustainability: A Comparative Survey Experiment

32 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2015  

Achim Goerres

University of Duisburg-Essen - Institute of Political Science

Rune Karlsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science

Staffan Kumlin

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science; Institute for Social Research, Norway

Date Written: September 11, 2015

Abstract

Influential theories of the welfare state long predicted much policy stability also in the face of mounting reform pressures and associated cost problems. Recent developments, however, suggest significant reforms and even retrenchment have occurred Scholars are now increasing efforts to understand the “reform strategies” that make policy change politically feasible and acceptable to the public. We contribute by analyzing effects of reform pressure framing Do citizens perceptions of welfare state sustainability change when they are exposed to information about various cost-inducing pressures on the welfare state? Using an experimental design, we examine whether views on the financial viability of the welfare state are susceptible to an argumentative emphasis on reform pressures, including population ageing, low employment rates, immigration, and international economic crisis (separately as well as interactively). The analysis is sensitive to whether effects are contingent on prior attitudes and interests. Additionally, the three-country comparative design makes it possible to investigate if it more difficult to influence perceptions of welfare state sustainability in oil rich Norway than in the more pressured contexts of Germany and Sweden.

Keywords: welfare state; Norway; Germany; Sweden; survey; experiment; attitudes

Suggested Citation

Goerres, Achim and Karlsen, Rune and Kumlin, Staffan, Reform Pressures and Perceived Welfare State Sustainability: A Comparative Survey Experiment (September 11, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2658992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2658992

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

Rune Karlsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

Moltke Moesvei 31
Olso, 0851
Norway

Staffan Kumlin

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 1097
Blindern
Oslo, 0317
Norway

Institute for Social Research, Norway ( email )

PO Box 3233 Elisenberg
Oslo, 0208
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://socialresearch.no

Paper statistics

Downloads
65
Rank
291,243
Abstract Views
367