118 Understanding the Trade-offs Underlying Preferences on Social-Economic Policy

Thursday, July 13, 2017: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
WMB - Gannochy Seminar Room 3 (University of Glasgow)
In studying policy preferences on social economic issues, research has traditionally focused on explaining variation in voters' position. Analyzed predominantly as a dichotomy between support and opposition, studies have paid less attention to the fact that in many instances, citizens hold mixed and often conflicting views about various policies, supporting some aspects of it but apprehensive about others. Learning about the sensitivities people have regarding different policy features and the trade-offs they make when evaluating a policy's merits is key to understanding where the "public stands" on a given issue.

Until quite recently, scholars were ill equipped to studying such tradeoffs in a systematic manner. Most studies therefore focused either on position or saliency, examining attitudes toward different dimensions of preferences separately from the question of policy choice rather than jointly. Yet new methodological developments, particularly the growing use of conjoint designs and other embedded experimental methods provide an array of useful tools to study the sources of preferences on multidimensional policies. The contributions to this panel present studies that employ such innovative methods to study public opinion on contemporary policy debates, including pension reform, fiscal policy, austerity packages, childcare policy and support for basic income.

Taken together, the studies in the panel provide insight on both the substantive question of the determinants of voters' preferences on social economic policy, as well as lay out new ways that expand the tool-case available for researchers studying the tradeoffs voters make when assessing multidimensional policies.

Silja Häusermann
Discussant :
Paul Marx
Economic Crisis, Social Networks, and Policy Preferences
Jose Fernandez, CSIC; Alexander Kuo, Cornell University
The Politics of Trade-Offs: Studying the Dynamics of Welfare State Reform with Conjoint Experiments
Silja Häusermann, University of Zurich; Thomas Kurer, University of Zurich; Denise Traber, University of Zurich
How Much Are Citizens Really Willing to Pay for Childcare? Evidence from a Conjoint Analysis in a German City
Marius R. Busemeyer, University of Konstanz; Achim Goerres, University of Duisburg-Essen
Public Preferences Towards Fiscal Policies: A Conjoint Experiment of Priorities and Trade-Offs
Bjoern Bremer, European University Institute; Reto Bürgisser, EUI
The Austerity Debate and Mass Politics in Post-Crisis Economies
Yotam Margalit, Tel Aviv University; Michael Bechtel, Washington University in St.Louis; Kirk Bansak, Stanford University; Jens Hainmueller, Stanford University
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