How does automation risk shape social policy preference? Employment insecurity and policy feedback effect in China

Ziteng FAN, Jing NING, Jingwei Alex HE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Workplace automation fueled by technological innovations has been generating social policy implications. Defying the prevalent argument that automation risk triggers employment insecurity and prompts individuals to favour redistribution, this study doesn’t find empirical evidence in the Chinese context. Analysing national survey data, this study reveals a very strong association between automation risk and popular preference for government responsibility in old-age support. Further analysis suggests that more generous local welfare systems generate a reinforcing effect between automation risk and individuals’ support for government involvement in old-age support. In a welfare system in which major redistributive policies are not employment-dependent, automation risk may not necessarily trigger stronger preferences for short-term immediate protection through redistributive programmes, but may stimulate individuals to project their need for social protection towards middle- or longer-term and employment-related policies. The generosity of subnational welfare systems moderates the formation of individuals’ social policy preferences through policy feedback. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Early online dateAug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2022

Citation

Fan, Z., Ning, J., & He, A. J. (2022). How does automation risk shape social policy preference? Employment insecurity and policy feedback effect in China. Social Policy and Society. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/S1474746422000513

Keywords

  • Unemployment
  • Welfare attitude
  • Technology
  • Automation
  • Policy feedback

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