Support for a Universal Basic Income: A Demand-Capacity Paradox?

Title Support for a Universal Basic Income: A Demand-Capacity Paradox?
Publication TypeWorking Paper
AuthorsParolin, Z., & Siöland L.
PublisherHerman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy
Place PublishedAntwerpen
Year of Publication2019
NumberWP 19/01
Date Published01/2019

Debate around a universal basic income (UBI) tends to focus on the economic and social implications of the policy proposal. Less clear, however, are the factors influencing support for a UBI. Using the 2016 European Social Survey, we investigate how trade union membership and left political ideology (central to power resources theory) and attitudes towards immigrants’ access to welfare benefits (central to welfare state chauvinism) affect individual support for a UBI. We also investigate how country-level differences in levels of social spending moderate individual-level UBI support. Results suggest that in countries where social spending is low, welfare state chauvinism and power resources theory have little effect in explaining support for a UBI. Where spending is high, chauvinism and power resources can explain individual-level support. These tensions form a demand-capacity paradox: countries which are presumably least equipped to implement a UBI see the most broad-based support for the policy.

Citation Key6391
Universiteit Antwerpen - University of Antwerp
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