Does Knowledge Matter? Survey Evidence for Knowledge-Based, Self-Interested Welfare Attitudes in South Korea

41 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2017

See all articles by Sijeong Lim

Sijeong Lim

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Seiki Tanaka

University of Leeds

Date Written: July 24, 2017

Abstract

The effect of income on individuals' welfare attitudes varies across societies. Existing studies focus on institutions and macroeconomic conditions to explain the variation. We argue that knowledge mediates self-interested individuals' income-based welfare attitudes. We focus on a set of specific knowledge relevant for assessing the distributive effects of the welfare state: awareness of fiscal constraint, understanding of tax system, information on transfer system, and objective assessment of one's economic status. At the micro-level, the lack of knowledge renders higher (/lower) income citizens to be more (/less) supportive of social spending than they would under better information. At the aggregate level, a prevalent lack of knowledge dilutes income-based cleavages over social spending. To test our argument, we conducted an original survey in South Korea where a number of previous studies found little or no income effect. The survey-based evidence lends support to our argument.

Keywords: Support for Social Spending; Income effect; Knowledge; South Korea

Suggested Citation

Lim, Sijeong and Tanaka, Seiki, Does Knowledge Matter? Survey Evidence for Knowledge-Based, Self-Interested Welfare Attitudes in South Korea (July 24, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3009074 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3009074

Sijeong Lim

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) ( email )

Amsterdam Roeterseilandcampus
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018 WV
Netherlands

Seiki Tanaka (Contact Author)

University of Leeds ( email )

School of Politics and International Studies
Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
26
Abstract Views
162
PlumX Metrics