Public Demand for Social Investment Policies: New Supporting Coalitions for the Welfare State?

Friday, July 14, 2017
Humanities LT G255 (University of Glasgow)
Julian Garritzmann , University of Konstanz/University of Zurich
Marius R. Busemeyer , University of Konstanz
Erik Neimanns , University of Konstanz
This paper studies the dynamics of public opinion on social investment policies. This is a different perspective from the bulk of existing scholarship on social investment, which is either more concerned with macro-level policy-making or the effect of social investment policies on real labor market outcomes. We make use of a new and original dataset, which compiles survey data from eight European countries with a particular focus on education and social investment policies, therefore providing much better measures for these attitudes compared to previous existing surveys. Our major findings are that social investment policy reforms are indeed very popular with the people and on average more so than reforms that aim at strengthening the more traditional social transfer programs of the welfare state. We also find evidence for the existence of different supporting coalitions: The “economic class” effect is more pronounced for traditional social policy reforms, whereas social investment is popular across different socio-economic groups. In sum, the paper provides evidence that social investment policies might indeed be a politically viable reform strategy.
  • Garritzmann Busemeyer Neimanns _ Public demand for SI _ CES paper.pdf (746.9 kB)