“Why doesn’t the U.S. have a European-style welfare state?” Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote Overview Authors want to understand the causes of the greater expansion of the welfare state in Europe vs. the U.S.
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Alberto Alesina, Edward Glaeser and Bruce Sacerdote
Using these propositions, we can try to explain differences between
American and European welfare programs:
Behavioral Explanations are based on:
1. Racial Issues
If the poor in the US are more geographically or socially isolated, this might create a situation where non-poor Americans have little sympathy for the poor.
*Responses depend upon the level of welfare at the time.
1. High school dropouts, and people with graduate degrees support more welfare spending than high school graduates.
2. People in big cities favor welfare
3. African-Americans are much more likely to be pro-welfare than whites.
1. More diverse states should be less likely to support welfare.
-> Some truth, but not statistically significant
2. Whites who believe that blacks are lazy are less likely to support welfare
->Some effect, but weak
3. Is there a correlation between knowing blacks and support for welfare
Those who have are more likely to support increased welfare.
1.Connection between effort and income
2.Importance of hard work
#1. Occupational mobility negatively associated with support for welfare
- Those who have risen from poverty more likely to think others can do so as well.
#2. Most religious Americans are more likely to oppose increased spending on welfare
#3.Strong relationship between support for capital punishment and opposing welfare in the US
Do you buy it?