Public opinion against markets?: attitudes towards market distribution of social services - a comparison of 17 countries
2015 (English)In: Social Policy & Administration, ISSN 0144-5596, E-ISSN 1467-9515, Vol. 49, no 7, 887-910 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article studies how citizens view the appropriateness of market criteria for allocating services commonly associated with social citizenship rights and welfare state responsibility. The article focuses specifically on a potential role for the market in the provision of social services. The relationship between welfare policy institutions, socio-economic class and attitudes is explored by comparing attitudes across 17 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, using multilevel modelling and data from the 2009 International Social Survey Programme. Results show that public support for market distribution of services is relatively weak in most countries, a result suggesting that public opinion is unlikely to pose a driving force within ongoing processes of welfare marketization. Still, attitudes are found to vary a lot across countries in tandem with between-country variation in welfare policy design. First, aggregate public support for market distribution of services is stronger in countries with more private spending on services. Second, class differences in attitudes are larger in countries with more extensive state-led delivery of services. Together, these results point to the operation of normative feedback-effects flowing from existing welfare policy arrangements. The theoretical arguments and the empirical results presented in this article suggest that future research exploring the relationship between welfare policy and public opinion from a country-comparative perspective is well advised to place greater focus on the market institutions that, to varying extents in different countries, act as complements to the state in the administration of social welfare.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Vol. 49, no 7, 887-910 p.
Market, Inequality, Social services, Attitudes, Public opinion, Welfare State, Comparative analysis
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88492DOI: 10.1111/spol.12105ISI: 000368267400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-88492DiVA: diva2:715929