Sandro Busso, Antonella Meo, Tania Parisi

From Utopia to (Social) Policy Option? Attitudes Towards Basic Income and Welfare Legitimacy in Europe

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Basic Income; Social Policy; Welfare Attitudes; Measurement Invariance; Cross-National Studies.

The article focuses on the relationship between inclination towards the basic income and general attitudes towards the welfare state, as a way to explore whether the first is facing a transition from a utopic perception to a feasible and concrete one. Making use of the eighth round of the European Social Survey, we carried out a cross-national analysis that links the basic income's support to three constitutive dimensions of the attitudes towards welfare: the egalitarian principles underlying its legitimacy and the intended and unintended consequences of social policies. Results show that despite the presence of a statistically significant relation between such attitudes and the desirability of a basic income, the support for the latter is still shaped by principles rather than by an evaluation of its possible effects. Basic income is not yet rid of its utopic nature. The paper also points out the importance of dealing with measurement invariance when analyzing cross-countries data.

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