Paper prepared for the panel "the Dualization of European Societies", 17th Conference of Europeanists, April 14-17th 2010, Montréal CA
A growing literature argues that politics in mature welfare states is characterized by new distributive conflicts. New risk groups are expected to advocate specific policies, which respond to their particular needs. The dualization-literature conceptualizes these risk groups in terms of insiders and outsiders, depending on their labor market vulnerability. In this paper, we test whether insiders and outsiders differ in their policy preferences. Redistribution and social investment typically target the needs of outsiders, while social insurance and performance-related incomes are more advantageous for insiders. Hence, we test whether we find insider-outsider divides with regard to preferences for these policies. In addition, we also test interaction effects with education, since high- and low-skilled outsiders have distinctive risk profiles and needs. The analysis is based on micro-level data from the ESS 2008.
The results consistently confirm the expected insider-outsider divide with regard to all analyzed policy preferences (redistribution, social investment, social insurance and the respondent’s support for performance-related incomes). Further, the analysis of interaction effects with education shows that insider-outsider divides on social investment and social insurance prevail only among the medium- and high-skilled respondents, whereas attitudes on the redistribution of income differ between insiders and outsiders throughout the whole workforce.
The paper provides evidence that the increasing dualization of labor markets is reflected in individual preferences and attitudes. This is an important result for studies that analyze the political mobilization of insiders and outsiders and – more generally – the implications of dualization for post-industrial welfare politics.