Coming to Denmark: Americans' adaption to social democratic institutions

Publication: ResearchWorking paper

Abstract

Cross-national differences in public opinions about welfare policies, and the role of the government more generally, are often explained in terms of institutional differences. It is widely believed that the hostility towards welfare policies in the US and their support in the Nordic countries is partly caused by the institutional structure of what Esping-Andersen (1990) famously labeled liberal and social democratic welfare regimes. The paper contributes to this literature by analyzing welfare attitudes among American migrants living in a social democratic welfare regime. The paper combines a survey among first generation American migrants living in Denmark with already existing survey data on American and Danish welfare attitudes. As expected, the article finds that Americans living in a context of social democratic welfare institutions are 1) more supportive of the welfare state than are Americans living in (neo)liberal welfare institutions and 2) are as, or more, supportive than are native Danes. The article finds more evidence of the context-effect being caused by exposure to Danish welfare state institutions than to Danish culture in general.
Close

Details

Cross-national differences in public opinions about welfare policies, and the role of the government more generally, are often explained in terms of institutional differences. It is widely believed that the hostility towards welfare policies in the US and their support in the Nordic countries is partly caused by the institutional structure of what Esping-Andersen (1990) famously labeled liberal and social democratic welfare regimes. The paper contributes to this literature by analyzing welfare attitudes among American migrants living in a social democratic welfare regime. The paper combines a survey among first generation American migrants living in Denmark with already existing survey data on American and Danish welfare attitudes. As expected, the article finds that Americans living in a context of social democratic welfare institutions are 1) more supportive of the welfare state than are Americans living in (neo)liberal welfare institutions and 2) are as, or more, supportive than are native Danes. The article finds more evidence of the context-effect being caused by exposure to Danish welfare state institutions than to Danish culture in general.
Original languageEnglish
StateIn preparation - 2017
ID: 233655614