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Dynamic Cleavages of ‘Welfare Rights and Duties’in Public Attitude Towards Old-age Pensions

Sang-Hoon Ahn | College of Social Sciences, Seoul National University

Soo-Wan Kim | College of Social Welfare, Kangnam University


This study investigated public attitudes towards pension

spending in welfare states. By utilising a dataset covering 21 different

Western European countries and conducting a multi-level analyses, three

main findings resulted. First, as the welfare status model suggests, the

status of welfare duties as well as the status of welfare rights proved to play

a key role in shaping the political cleavages over public pensions at both

macro- and micro-levels. Second, age and gender also seem to be significant

sources of cleavage in addition to class-related variables. Finally, the study

examined empirically the interaction effect of age and class-related factors

to reveal that class-based interests offset generational interests.


Key words: public attitudes; pension; welfare status model; generational

cleavage; class cleavage; gender cleavage; multilevel analysis


European Societies (2014), 16:1, 90-111, DOI: 10.1080/14616696.2012.748928