Social Welfare Policy Outputs and Governing Parties’ Left-Right Images: Do Voters Respond?



Adams, James, Bernardi, L ORCID: 0000-0001-5875-9990 and Wlezien, Christopher
(2020) Social Welfare Policy Outputs and Governing Parties’ Left-Right Images: Do Voters Respond? The Journal of Politics, 82 (3). 1161 - 1165.

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Abstract

While previous research evaluates how citizens’ perceptions of governing parties’ ideologies respond to party policy rhetoric and the composition of governing coalitions, no extant study addresses whether citizens cue off of government policy outputs. We calibrate citizens’ Left-Right party placements against data on government welfare policies in analyses of 15 party systems for 1973–2010. We identify a welfare generosity effect where governing parties’ images shift further left when welfare policies are more generous; moreover, the public appears to hold the current government accountable for the welfare regime it inherited, in addition to the welfare policy changes to this regime it has enacted since the last election. However, we find no evidence that citizens react to governments’ manifesto-based policy rhetoric, which suggests that citizens prioritize actual government policies, not words. These findings have implications for parties’ election strategies and for mass-elite linkages.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Welfare generosity, Party manifestos, Public perceptions, Idealogical placements, Party reputation
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 08:38
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2021 07:27
DOI: 10.1086/707523
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3055353