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Title: Does Government Support Respond to Governments' Social Welfare Rhetoric or their Spending? An Analysis of Government Support in Britain, Spain, and the United States
Authors: Bernardi, Luca
Adams, James
First Published: 8-Nov-2017
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Citation: British Journal of Political Science, 2017
Abstract: Issue ownership theory posits that when social welfare is electorally salient, left-wing parties gain public support by rhetorically emphasizing social welfare issues. There is less research, however, on whether left-wing governing parties benefit from increasing social welfare spending, i.e., we do not know whether leftist governments gain from acting on the issues they rhetorically emphasize. We present arguments that voters will not react to governments’ social welfare rhetoric, and we also review the conflicting arguments about how government support responds to social welfare spending. We then report time-series, cross-sectional analyses of data on government support, governments’ social welfare rhetoric and social welfare spending from Britain, Spain, and the United States, that support our prediction of no effects from government rhetoric. We estimate, however, that increased social welfare spending sharply depresses support for both leftand right-wing governments. Our findings identify a strategic dilemma for left-wing governments, who lose public support when they act on their social welfare rhetoric by actually increasing welfare spending.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0007123417000199
ISSN: 0007-1234
eISSN: 1469-2112
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, Cambridge University Press (CUP). Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Politics and International Relations

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