Demand for redistribution in the wake of the Great Recession

Philipp Kroeger


Data from the European Social Survey suggest that while average demand for redistribution in Europe has increased in the wake of the Great Recession, the change differs significantly across income groups. A twofold hypothesis is advanced to account for this phenomenon: (1) The severity of the crisis has led to a new awareness of economic risks among middle and higher income groups, which have traditionally been far less exposed to material risks; (2) the change in risk perceptions has led to a higher support for redistribution through the social insurance motive. Empirical evidence supports this hypothesis and shows effects to be strongest for the self-employed, older workers and those living in countries most affected by the crisis.

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