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Trade-offs between redistribution and environmental protection: the role of information, ideology, and self-interest


Armingeon, Klaus; Bürgisser, Reto (2021). Trade-offs between redistribution and environmental protection: the role of information, ideology, and self-interest. Journal of European Public Policy, 28(4):489-509.

Abstract

Reducing economic inequality and combatting climate change are two strongly supported policy goals, but they will require significant public investments. In times of limited fiscal resources, governments struggle to raise additional revenues needed to finance both, making trade-offs between generally supported policy goals likely. But how do citizens decide if they have to choose between goals they support in principle, such as spending on efforts to reduce inequality and channeling resources toward initiatives to protect the environment? We discuss three major factors that help explain this choice – information, self-interest, and ideological orientation. Our experimental study shows that information is not a significant determinant of such choices, and that ideology is only important as long as there are no conflicting goals. Once citizens have to decide between redistribution and environmental protection, myopic self-interest trumps all other theoretically relevant variables mentioned in the literature.

Abstract

Reducing economic inequality and combatting climate change are two strongly supported policy goals, but they will require significant public investments. In times of limited fiscal resources, governments struggle to raise additional revenues needed to finance both, making trade-offs between generally supported policy goals likely. But how do citizens decide if they have to choose between goals they support in principle, such as spending on efforts to reduce inequality and channeling resources toward initiatives to protect the environment? We discuss three major factors that help explain this choice – information, self-interest, and ideological orientation. Our experimental study shows that information is not a significant determinant of such choices, and that ideology is only important as long as there are no conflicting goals. Once citizens have to decide between redistribution and environmental protection, myopic self-interest trumps all other theoretically relevant variables mentioned in the literature.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Social Sciences & Humanities > Public Administration
Uncontrolled Keywords:survey experiment, redistribution, environmental protection, policy trade-offs, public opinion
Language:English
Date:3 April 2021
Deposited On:21 Dec 2020 14:10
Last Modified:25 Mar 2024 02:43
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1350-1763
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2020.1749715
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)