Attitudes toward welfare spending in urban China: Evidence from a survey in two provinces and social policy implications

Jingwei Alex HE, Jiwei QIAN, Kerry RATIGAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

What explains divergent levels of support for welfare spending in a non-Western authoritarian state? Can self-interest and ideology, two major theoretical frameworks from cross-national research, explain attitudinal patterns in China? Using data collected from an original survey in two provinces in 2017, we examined urban Chinese attitudes toward welfare spending. We focused on three social policy domains with distinctive characteristics: education, healthcare, and poverty alleviation. All domains received fairly high levels of support for increased spending from our sample. Our regression models suggest that self-interest and ideology are both associated with welfare attitudes in urban China, but self-interest variables operate in unexpected ways, reflecting the distinctive socio-economic and cultural context in which welfare attitudes are formed. This study concludes with broad policy implications for social policy reform in China. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chinese Governance
Early online date10 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2020

Citation

He, A. J., Qian, J., & Ratigan, K. (2020). Attitudes toward welfare spending in urban China: Evidence from a survey in two provinces and social policy implications. Journal of Chinese Governance. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/23812346.2019.1709324

Keywords

  • Welfare attitudes
  • Social spending
  • Self-interest
  • Ideology
  • Urban China

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