Welfare or politics? A survey experiment of political discontent and support for redistribution in Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examines support for redistribution in the developed economy of Hong Kong from three theoretical perspectives: self-interest, ideology, and social affinity. The analysis uses a between-subjects randomized vignette experiment to explore the interplay between welfare and politics; in particular, it addresses whether people express opposition to a welfare policy to convey political discontent even if they otherwise support the policy. Drawing on a survey of university students (N = 1245), the study finds that self-interest and ideology, and specifically perceptions of social mobility and individual responsibility, are strong predictors of support for redistribution. The vignette experiment provides evidence that politics indeed spills over into support for welfare policies. Respondents expressed less support for public housing if cued that the policy was associated with the government and were already dissatisfied with political leadership. The findings have implications for research on political support for redistribution and welfare policies. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitics
Early online dateMar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2019

Fingerprint

redistribution
social policy
Hong Kong
welfare
politics
experiment
ideology
policy on property
political leadership
political support
public housing
Social Mobility
opposition
responsibility
economy
university
evidence
student

Citation

Wong, M. Y. H. (2019). Welfare or politics? A survey experiment of political discontent and support for redistribution in Hong Kong. Politics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0263395719837867

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Political dissatisfaction
  • Support for redistribution
  • Survey experiment
  • Welfare policies