SAGE Journals

Welfare chauvinism across benefits and services

Posted on 2021-07-07 - 00:07

The article theorises how covering social risks through cash transfers and in-kind services shapes public attitudes towards including/excluding immigrants from these programmes in Western European destination countries. The argument is that public attitudes are more restrictive of granting immigrants access to benefits than to services. This hypothesis is tested across ten social protection programmes using original survey data collected in Denmark, Germany and the UK in 2019. Across the three countries, representing respectively a social democratic, conservative and liberal welfare regime context, the article finds that the public does indeed have a preference for easier access for in-kind services than for cash benefits. The article also finds these results to be stable across programmes covering the same social risks; the examples are child benefits and childcare. The results are even stable across left-wing, mainstream and radical right-wing voters; with the partial exception of radical right-wing voters in the UK. Finally, the article finds only a moderate association between individual characteristics and attitudinal variation across cash benefits and in-kind services.


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