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The attitudinal gender gap across generations: support for redistribution and government spending in contexts of high and low welfare provision

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2020

Rosalind Shorrocks*
Affiliation:
Department of Politics, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Maria T. Grasso
Affiliation:
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Abstract

We compare gender gaps in attitudes towards redistribution and social spending across generations in the USA and Britain. We show that the US context, characterized by lower welfare provision, results in consistent or even widening gender gaps for generations born post-1925. On the other hand, the British context, characterized by higher welfare provision relative to the USA, exhibits a narrowing and closing of the gender gap for younger generations, for two out of three indicators of spending preferences. These findings provide some, albeit mixed, evidence that women are more consistently in favour of social spending and redistribution than men in contexts characterized by low welfare provision such as the USA. Where there are higher levels of social support, we argue women could become increasingly more likely to express a preference for levels of spending and redistribution that is similar to men's, narrowing the gender gap among younger generations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© European Consortium for Political Research 2020

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