English title: Discerning self-interested behaviour in attitudes towards welfare state responsibilities across Europe

Author(s): Cem Baslevent - Hasan Kirmanoglu -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2011


This article reports on an investigation into the influence of individual characteristics on attitudes to government responsibility for welfare-related tasks using data from the European Social Survey. The main finding of this investigation was that socio-demographic characteristics, basic personal values, a left–right ideological position and religious affiliation were all associated with attitudes towards welfare policies. An item-by-item examination of the six issues enquired about in the survey revealed that people tended to hold the government responsible for tasks that would benefit them more directly. Taken as a whole, the empirical findings were interpreted to mean that individuals’ tastes for welfare state policies were driven, at least partially, by self-interest, but it was also noted that further work was needed to disentangle the potential role of group loyalty effects.

Volume: 20

Issue: 4

From page no: 344

To page no: 352

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1111/J.1468-2397.2010.00751.X

Journal: International Journal of Social Welfare