Explaining Differences in Welfare Chauvinism between and within Individuals over Time: The Role of Subjective and Objective Economic Risk, Economic Egalitarianism, and Ethnic Threat

Mathijs Kros*, Marcel Coenders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

A considerable portion of European citizens are in favour of limited or conditional access for migrants to welfare provisions. Previous studies found that this welfare chauvinism is stronger among citizens with less favourable economic positions. This study seeks to explain the relationship between economic risk, both objective and subjective, and welfare chauvinism by looking at two distinct mechanisms: The traditional economic explanation of economic egalitarianism and the cultural explanation of ethnic threat. Given the lack of longitudinal studies, we also examine whether changes in economic risk, economic egalitarianism and threat can explain changes in welfare chauvinism over time. Using a four-wave panel-study (2013-2015) collected in Great Britain and the Netherlands, these relationships were studied both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The longitudinal mediation model was tested by making use of parallel process latent growth curve modelling. In both Great Britain and the Netherlands, economic egalitarianism and ethnic threat explained the link between economic risk and welfare chauvinism. Furthermore, in both countries, an increase over time in perceptions of ethnic threat was found to be the driving force behind an increase in welfare chauvinism, irrespective of changes in economic egalitarianism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-873
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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