We will conduct a panel conjoint survey analysis to go along the reform process of the Altersvorsorge 2020 process to identify priorities and trade-offs in social policy preferences
"Hard Choices. Preferences, trade-offs and reform opportunities in multidimensional welfare politics"
SNF Grant100017_159341; 348'553.-CHF, main applican
Under what conditions can welfare states be reformed? More specifically: how can established social policy programmes be adapted to changing demographic, economic and social constraints? These are the key questions in today’s welfare state politics, and they have consequently become the key questions in political science research on the welfare state. In this research project, we make use of the exceptional conjunction of theoretical advances in the relevant literature, methodological innovation in public opinion research and the unfolding of the most ambitious and encompassing pension reform in Switzerland in decades to provide answers to precisely these questions
With regard to the literature on welfare state reforms, one of the key insights of research over the past decade has been that welfare politics are multidimensional. This means that individuals are not just “in favor or against social policy”, but they hold specific preferences for different aspects of social policy. One major difficulty - for researchers as well as policy-makers - is, however, that the relative importance that individuals or social groups attribute to these different dimensions is almost impossible to observe reliably in standard survey analysis. Conjoint analysis is an experimental survey method that allows to measure whether changes in the composition of a reform package lead to sizeable shifts in support among the public as a whole, or among specific groups. The current Swiss pension reform (“Altersvorsorge 2020”) is an ambitious attempt at reforming the entire system of old age income protection. It therefore provides the perfect opportunity to combine the insights in welfare state theory regarding multidimensionality with conjoint analysis. We conduct a panel study that goes along with the political reform process.