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The Policy–Opinion Nexus: The Impact of Social Protection Programs on Welfare Policy Preferences ...

The Policy–Opinion Nexus: The Impact of Social Protection Programs on Welfare Policy Preferences in China


Dong-Kyun Im ㅣDepartment of Urban Sociology, University of Seoul

Tianguang Meng ㅣDepartment of Political Science, Tsinghua University


Abstract

This study investigates the policy–opinion nexus in China. Using nationally repre- sentative survey data and propensity score matching, it examines the effect of policy on opinions in four welfare domains: pension, educational subsidies, health care, and minimum livelihood assistance. Our findings show that individuals’ experience with welfare policy tends to reinforce the idea that the government should take responsi- bility for welfare, and this experience also influences their opinions about other wel- fare programs. This paper contributes to the literature by using a novel methodological approach and using a new dependent variable concerning individuals’ feeling of entitlement for social welfare. The results show strong evidence of the contingent nature of policy feedback process, and show how interpretive effects op- erate through spillover feedback effects.


International Journal of Public Opinion Research Vol. 28 No. 2 2016