The Attitudinal Gender Gap across Generations: Support for Redistribution and Government Spending in Contexts of High and Low Welfare Provision

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We compare gender gaps in attitudes towards redistribution and social spending across generations in the US and Britain. We show that the US context, characterised by lower welfare provision, results in consistent or even widening gender gaps for generations born post-1925. On the other hand, the British context, characterised by higher welfare provision relative to the US, 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 characterised by low welfare provision such as the US. 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 amongst younger generations.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-306
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Political Science Review
Issue number3
Early online date19 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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