Welfare state regimes and subjective well-being: A cross-national study

John S. Lapinski, Charles R. Riemann, Robert Y. Shapiro, Matthew F. Stevens, Lawrence R. Jacobs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Scopus citations


    This article integrates research on political psychology with welfare state development of social provisions aimed at mollifying unemployment and other conditions of life. Utilizing the typology of Esping-Andersen (1990), we examine three types of welfare state regimes: Liberal; Conservative; and Social democratic. The article compares the relationship between unemployment and subjective well-being across these regime types. We should observe that citizen preferences in social democratic countries will be most favorable toward government intervention in securing employment, and support for active government policies regarding employment and social welfare should be strongest there. In comparison, Liberal regimes such as the U.S.A. and Australia should be the least disposed toward such activity, while conservative regimes should fall in between. It is further hypothesized that differences in well-being between the employed and unemployed will be smallest in social democratic regimes. Our analysis indicates at best mixed support for the hypotheses. Our results lead us to the conclusion that the micro-foundations of macro-theories about the connection between public opinion and social security policies need to be reconsidered.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2-24
    Number of pages23
    JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1998


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