United But Divided: Welfare Regimes and the Level and Variance in Public Support for Redistribution
Previous studies find little evidence that welfare regimes affect public support for welfare state principles, policies, and programmes in any systematic way. This article argues that limitations in operational definitions of welfare regimes might explain why previous studies do not find any link between regimes and attitudes. Furthermore, the article suggests that welfare regimes should affect both mean levels of support for the welfare state and the variance in attitudes. The article develops a new conceptualization of welfare regimes based on a set of regime-type indicators measured at the country-level and latent variables models. My empirical analysis of support for redistribution across 15 countries suggests that the regime rank order (low to high) with respect to support for redistribution is Liberal, Social Democratic, and Conservative. The regime rank order with respect to the variance in support for redistribution is Liberal, Conservative, and Social Democratic. My findings give rise to a simple two-dimensional typology of regime differences in support for redistribution.