Stereotypes and welfare preferences

Janky, Béla (2013) Stereotypes and welfare preferences. [Data Collection]


Etnikai sztereotípiák és jóléti preferenciákról szóló kutatás (OTKA K76223) keretében történt három, kísérlet típusú adatfelvétel. A konkrét kutatási téma a romákkal és szegényekkel kapcsolatos attitűdök közötti interakció volt. 2010-ben diákok körében szöveges vignette vizsgálat történt, segélyért folyamodó két ember közötti választásra kérték a megkérdezetteket. A dokumentumok a segély zip-mappában találhatók. 2011 tavasza és 2011 vége között videós változata készült el a vignette vizsgálatnak, egy videó-riportnak négy változata készült el. A négy videó közötti különbség az etnicitás és a szegénység foka volt. A dokumentumok a video zip-mappában találhatók. 2012 tavaszán felnőtt mintás survey készült képekkel, négy városban (Budapest, Győr, Miskolc, Pécs, ld. adatfájlban” terep” változót), sétálós mintavétellel. A kérdezettek elé hipotetikus döntési szituációkat helyeztek. Minden kérdezett kapott egy újságcikkszerű leírást. Négy fajta szituáció volt fotóval, ld. A, B, C, D kérdőíveket, az adatfájlban "tipus2" változót. Ezután azzal a szituációval kapcsolatosan értékelésre kérték őket. A dokumentumok a survey zip-mappában találhatók.

The relationship between ethnic heterogeneity and welfare provision has become subject to intensive research in the past fifteen years. Scholarly interest may have stemmed from accumulating evidence on American voters’ overwhelming hostility towards certain welfare transfers. Studies on racialization of those attitudes linked the issue to the large body of literature on race and politics in the US. Meanwhile, analyses of local public policies established the relationship between racial heterogeneity and certain policy outcomes in American communities. In their influential study, Alesina and Glaeser (2004) widened the scope of policy analysis by extending it to aggregate welfare spending and also to many countries around the world. Their provocative hypothesis about the coming era of welfare state retrenchment following mass immigration in Europe prompted a new line of research on the other side of the Atlantic. In addition to massive empirical research, much has been done to uncover mechanisms which might foster ethnicization of welfare attitudes, but diverging experiences in the US, Europe and Canada pose puzzles for all theoretical perspectives. Early theoretical works were motivated by the American experience, supposing strong links among the salience of the minority poor, poverty attributions, welfare attitudes, political behavior and welfare state desig. Indeed, the racialization of welfare attitudes of the otherwise increasingly color-blind American public hasn’t been fading in recent years. The solid support for redistribution in Western Europe, however, hasn’t been shaken by increasing ethnic heterogeneity yet. In Central-Eastern Europe, on the other hand, „European-style” egalitarianism is often coupled with the „American-type” tendency to stigmatize the poor. In the papers which grew out of our research project, we put forward an argument which connects inequality and ethnicity to welfare attitudes, and is grounded on four major propositions. First, instead of referring to racism, we follow Gilens (1999), van Oorschot (2000) and others by assuming that most voters support public assistance for the „deserving” poor of any color, and the stereotypes on crosscultural variance of deservingness lay the ground for ethnicization of welfare attitudes. Second, the role of stereotypes stem from the middle class voters’ lack of perfect information on the behavioral patterns and intentions of the poor. Third, some indicators of the economic status may serve as information shortcuts on the efforts of welfare beneficiaries: middle-class voters interpret lower status as a noisy signal of lower efforts. Fourth, the degree of uncertainty about a poor person’s proper behavior is, itself, dependent on his economic status: lower status – to some degree –, implies higher level of uncertainty. We argue that the poor are deprived of many opportunities to prove their deservingness. This might contribute to stigmatizing poverty, but also leaves room for prior stereotypes – positive and negative ones alike – to shape judgements on welfare recipients. Thus, we conclude that poverty-related attitudes are prone to become stigmatizing and racialized, but do so only in sufficiently unequal societies. Three experiments were conducted in this research funded by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund. In 2010, students were asked to choose between two applicants for welfare in a video vignette study (see segely zip file). Between spring and end of 2011, a nother version of the same study was conducted, now based on videos. Four versions of the video were completed, with a varying degree of poverty in them (see video zip file). In spring 2012, a survey with adults was coducted in four major Hungarian cities (Budapest, Győr, Miskolc, Pécs). The interviewees were confronted with hypothetical decision making situations. Each interviewee got one newspaper article-like situation with a foto (see questionnaire A, B, C, D), tipus2 variable in the dataset. They were asked to evaluate the situation (see survey zip file).

Legal and ethical issues

Title in English: Stereotypes and welfare preferences
Keywords: segély, cigányság, attitűd
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Institute for Sociology
Research funder: OTKA
Depositing User: Adminisztrátor
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2013 15:28
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2015 11:17
Related papers or data collections: Janky, Béla and Varga, Dániel (2013) The Poverty-Assistance Paradox. Economics Letters, 120 (3). pp. 447-449.
Janky, Béla and Horváth, Ágnes (2012) Notes on an Attribution Model of Welfare Preferences. Working Paper. -. (Unpublished)

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