Parallel publics? Support for income redistribution in times of economic crisis

Abstract : This article investigates the dynamics of support for income redistribution in Europe. With European Social Survey data spanning 2006 to 2012, it assesses whether the Great Recession resulted in substantial parallelism or increasing polarisation in preference change across various sub-publics. After introducing hypotheses based on claims that social groups are affected differently by economic insecurity, the article proceeds in two empirical sections. First, whereas prior research suggests that hard times fuel diverging attitudinal patterns, it is found that income groups, ideological groups and educational groups did not shift differently over time during the first years of the crisis, thus providing strong evidence for the ‘parallel publics’ hypothesis in the European context and in times of economic turmoil. Next, the article addresses the extent to which change in aggregate support for redistribution came from changes in small minorities of the population, supposed to be more responsive to their economic environment. Using multilevel analysis, it is shown that the most educated significantly contributed to the overall change more than the others. As a result, they may have been partly driving the economic mood during the first years of the Great Recession.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01456499
Contributor : Frédéric Gonthier <>
Submitted on : Sunday, February 5, 2017 - 12:29:38 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 4:40:06 PM

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Frédéric Gonthier. Parallel publics? Support for income redistribution in times of economic crisis. European Journal of Political Research, Springer Verlag, 2017, 56 (1), pp.92-114. ⟨10.1111/1475-6765.12168⟩. ⟨halshs-01456499⟩

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