Luxury or Necessity? A Three Wave Panel Study on Welfare State Outcomes, Procedural Fairness, and Political Distrust

30 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2018

See all articles by Lisanne de Blok

Lisanne de Blok

University of Amsterdam - Department of Political Science

Staffan Kumlin

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

Date Written: November 28, 2018

Abstract

The various crises that EU countries faced in the last decade resulted in large scale welfare state retrenchment. Seeing that citizens interact with welfare state institutions on a daily basis, these changes likely affect citizens’ satisfaction with the welfare state. A small but growing body of literature shows that evaluation of these welfare state institutions influence trust in the political system more generally. From a self-interest perspective, welfare state retrenchment would result in a decline in political trust. This article studies whether political trust can be generated in times of research scarcity: by ensuring procedural fairness. Studies on procedural fairness have almost exclusively focused on the input side democracy. This article tests whether and how procedural fairness at the output side of democracy affects trust in the political system. Using unique panel data on citizens’ real experiences with welfare state institutions, we employ the Random Effects Within Between multilevel framework to provide causal evidence that greater procedural fairness at citizens’ interactions with welfare state officials generates higher levels of political trust. More specifically, procedural fairness particularly matters for those who are unsatisfied with the welfare state services overall. These findings have important implications for research on democratic legitimacy, as well as for the design of welfare state services.

Suggested Citation

de Blok, Lisanne and Kumlin, Staffan, Luxury or Necessity? A Three Wave Panel Study on Welfare State Outcomes, Procedural Fairness, and Political Distrust (November 28, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3292177 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3292177

Lisanne De Blok

University of Amsterdam - Department of Political Science ( email )

Binnengasthuis
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 237
Amsterdam, 1012 DL
Netherlands

Staffan Kumlin (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

PO Box 1097
Blindern
Oslo, 0317
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://www.sv.uio.no/isv/english/people/aca/persku/index.html

Institute for Social Research, Norway ( email )

Norway

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