Support for Governmental Income Redistribution in Nordic Countries

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In many countries, we have seen an increase in economic inequality over the past 20 to 25 years. The populations might therefore have changed their attitude about how and how much different countries should intervene to reduce the extent of economic inequality. A question is whether there is any connection between changes in redistribution preferences and trends in economic inequality in the prosperous Nordic welfare states. This article contributes by examining whether there are differences in redistribution attitude and changes herein based upon socio-economic criteria, which might include self-interest arguments. Nordic countries are interesting because there have been differences in development, and even strong growth in economic inequality, especially in Sweden and Denmark, although these countries in the literature have been seen as highly equal societies. The analysis shows that support for redistribution is relatively stable over time in each country, but also that there are major differences between countries, with support being much higher in Finland compared with Denmark. Females, discriminated groups and the unemployed generally support redistribution to a higher degree. Ageing generally increases redistributional support, while more education reduces support for government redistribution in Finland. In all four countries, the highest income groups are less supportive of redistribution of income.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Review
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)426-444
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Important note from the Publisher regarding the attached version of the article: This article has been published in a revised form in European Review This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © copyright holder.

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