Welfare Attitudes: The Challenge of Globalization: A Multilevel Analysis of the effects of Economic Globalization on Welfare Attitudes
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Public opinion is important for advanced and aspiring democracies because it is the people that are the ultimate source of power in these societies. Peoples’ attitudes towards economic questions are thus important for a country’s economic policy. In this thesis, it is peoples’ attitudes towards welfare that are in question. Welfare attitudes are affected by both individual and contextual factors, as for instance globalization. In this thesis I seek to answer the overall research question: “How does economic globalization affect welfare attitudes?” By using multilevel modelling to analyse data from over 70 countries, I find that economic globalization does affect welfare attitudes, and the results indicate a rightist shift in attitudes. However, the effect is different for globalization winners and losers – in both individual and country sense. Increased economic globalization seem to lead to more leftist attitudes in developing countries, while the effect is reversed for developed countries. The findings also suggest that individuals with high skill-levels have more rightist attitudes than individuals with low skill-levels. The difference between these groups is larger in countries with high degrees of economic globalization.