The politics of international redistribution: Explaining public support for fiscal transfers in the EU
European Journal of Political Research
© 2018 European Consortium for Political Research
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 1 March 2020 in compliance with publisher policy.
As a consequence of the Eurozone crisis and the creation of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the prospect of a transfer union has become a particularly contested aspect of European integration. How should one understand the public backlash against fiscal transfers? And, what explains voter preferences for international transfers more generally? Using data from the 2014 European Elections Study (EES), this article describes the first cross-national analysis of voters’ preferences on international transfers. The analysis reveals a strong association between voters’ non-economic cultural orientations (i.e., their cosmopolitanism) and their position on transfers. At the same time, it is found that voters’ economic left-right orientations are crucial for a fuller understanding of the public conflict over transfers. This counters previous research that finds economic left-right orientations to be of little explanatory value. This study demonstrates that the association between economic left-right orientations and preferences for international transfers is conditional on a person's social class. Among citizens in a high-income class an economically left-leaning position is associated with support for transfers, whereas it is associated with opposition to transfers among citizens in a low-income class.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
First published: 27 February 2018