Department of Political Science

Conditional Solidarity: A Comparative Analysis of Government Egalitarianism and Benefit Conditionalization in Boom and Bust

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  • Alexander Horn

Surveys show that welfare benefits are regarded as more legitimate if the beneficiaries are perceived as victims of systemic circumstances; that their legitimacy is sensitive to economic context; and that egalitarians are more supportive of benefits. Applying these insights to macro-comparative research, this paper shows that “conditional solidarity” – not partisanship – explains the puzzling countercyclical policy pattern of “conditionalization in good times” that characterizes changes in access to unemployment insurance in the OECD. The argument is that the effect of a government’s egalitarian views depends on the business cycle because the legitimacy of benefits is inversely related to macroeconomic performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice
Pages (from-to)451-468
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • comparative welfare research, conditional solidarity, economic performance, egalitarianism, regression

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