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Income Inequality and Affective Social Solidarity Research Seminar Solidarity and Diversity November 29, 2010 Amsterdam Marii Paškov & Caroline Dewilde.

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Presentation on theme: "Income Inequality and Affective Social Solidarity Research Seminar Solidarity and Diversity November 29, 2010 Amsterdam Marii Paškov & Caroline Dewilde."— Presentation transcript:

1 Income Inequality and Affective Social Solidarity Research Seminar Solidarity and Diversity November 29, 2010 Amsterdam Marii Paškov & Caroline Dewilde UvA/AISSR

2 Aim of the Paper Make a distinction between calculating and affective solidarity (Beer and Koster, 2009) Relate calculating and affective solidarity to research studying attitudes towards the welfare state Focus on Affective Solidarity Rodger (2003): Research on popular support for the welfare state has overlooked the question of how people feel Study the relationship between income inequality and affective solidarity

3 Solidarity Calculating Economic approach Self-interest – rationally calculating individuals Fostered by awareness of mutual dependence Affective Sociological approach Feeling of affection, sympathy, care and concern for others Fostered by a sense of community, fellowship and neighborliness, strive for a common good

4 Welfare State and Solidarity Calculating Solidarity – Self-interest and mutual dependence (interdependency) (De Swaan, 1988) Affective Solidarity – Expresses concern, care and a wish to assist the survival of others (Titmuss, 1976)

5 Measuring Attitudes towards the Welfare State Demand for redistribution E.g. government should take measures to reduce differences in income levels Blurry variable Inconsistent results E.g. Finseraas, 2009; Lane Kenworthy & McCall, 2008; Lübker, 2007 Dependent variable challenge (Jæger, 2006): difficulty of creating exhaustive dependent variables to study support for the welfare state

6 Inequality and Calculating Solidarity Meltzer-Richard Model Higher inequality – greater distance between the mean and median income Under majority rule the median income holder is decisive Decisive actor will make a decision to maximize his or her utility – demand for redistribution Calculating Solidarity Self-interest Macro condition: Income Inequality Inequality*self- interest = More calculating solidarity Inequality*self- interest = More calculating solidarity

7 Inequality and Affective Solidarity Calculating Solidarity Self-interestMoral considerations Macro condition: Income Inequality Affective Solidarity Inequality*self- interest = More calculating solidarity Inequality*self- interest = More calculating solidarity Inequality*moral considerations = ? Inequality*moral considerations = ?

8 Heterogeneity and Solidarity Heterogeneity – difference, diversity Heterogeneity (ethnic, religious, linguistic) destructs social cohesion, trust and solidarity E.g. Alesina et al., 2001; Putnam, 2000; Schubert & Tweed, 2004 Homogeneity (similarity) breeds feelings of fellowship and solidarity

9 Income inequality and Affective Solidarity Income inequality – heterogeneity of economic conditions Inequality creates mental and physical distance Inequality poisons social relationships (Titmuss, 1976) Different life-style Less daily interaction (schools, hospitals, neighborhoods), but community spirit is fostered by face-to-face interaction Hypothesis: There is a negative relationship between income inequality and affective solidarity

10 Calculating Solidarity Self-interestMoral considerations Macro condition: Economic Inequality Affective Solidarity Inequality*self- interest = More calculating solidarity Inequality*self- interest = More calculating solidarity Inequality*moral considerations = Less affective solidarity Inequality*moral considerations = Less affective solidarity Support for the Welfare State

11 Data and Method European Value Survey countries and individuals in Europe Multilevel Analysis

12 Affective Solidarity Concerned about elderly To what extent do you feel concerned about the living conditions of elderly people in your country? Concerned about sick and disabled To what extent do you feel concerned about the living conditions sick and disabled people in your country? Willingness to help elderly Would you be prepared to actually do something to improve the conditions of elderly people in your country? Willingness to help sick and disabled Would you be prepared to actually do something to improve the conditions of sick and disabled people in your country. Cronbachs alpha: 82.5

13 Independent Variables Income inequality – GINI coefficient Poverty, GDP Neo-liberalism (welfare regime) (Coburn, 2000) Ethnic fractionalization (Alesina et al., 2003) Religion Individual level variables: gender, education, income, retired (dummy)

14 Comparison of country means

15 Income Inequality and Affective Solidarity

16 Affective Solidarity, Multilevel Analysis

17 Support for Redistribution Should the state eliminate big inequalities in income between citizens? No effect of income inequality Individuals should take more responsibility for providing for themselves vs. The state should take more responsibility to ensure that everyone is provided for No effect of income inequality

18 Conclusion We find a negative relationship between income inequality and affective solidarity Higher income inequality is related to lower levels of concern for the living conditions of the needy and less willingness to help to improve the living conditions of the needy Relationship between income inequality and affective solidarity is different from what has been proposed so far about the relationship between inequality and calculating solidarity

19 Remarks on Methodology Nature of the research question: macro*micro Time dimension (1999, 2008) Relation to previous research Measuring affective solidarity Causality


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