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Sharing the Risk? Households, Labor Market Vulnerability, and Social Policy Preferences in Western Europe


Häusermann, Silja; Kurer, Thomas; Schwander, Hanna (2016). Sharing the Risk? Households, Labor Market Vulnerability, and Social Policy Preferences in Western Europe. The Journal of Politics, 78(4):1045-1060.

Abstract

Explaining social policy preferences has become a major topic in comparative politics with labor market risk as a key determinant of these preferences. However, one question continues to loom large: are preference divides blurred by mixed households, that is, secure labor market participants living with vulnerable partners? In this article, we build on the insider-outsider literature and show that while the household does matter, its mitigating effect is limited in scope and strongly conditional on gender. Women’s preferences depend on their partner’s labor market situation, while men’s preferences are unaffected by it. Overall, only a small minority of the population across Western Europe benefits from a “household safety net.” Our findings have important implications for understanding the politicization of insider-outsider divides.

Abstract

Explaining social policy preferences has become a major topic in comparative politics with labor market risk as a key determinant of these preferences. However, one question continues to loom large: are preference divides blurred by mixed households, that is, secure labor market participants living with vulnerable partners? In this article, we build on the insider-outsider literature and show that while the household does matter, its mitigating effect is limited in scope and strongly conditional on gender. Women’s preferences depend on their partner’s labor market situation, while men’s preferences are unaffected by it. Overall, only a small minority of the population across Western Europe benefits from a “household safety net.” Our findings have important implications for understanding the politicization of insider-outsider divides.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:insider-outsider divides, labor market risks, preferences, household, gender
Language:English
Date:October 2016
Deposited On:10 Nov 2016 11:07
Last Modified:18 Aug 2017 00:00
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN:1468-2508
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/686972

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