Issue Ownership and the Welfare State, An Experiment

Summary

This study is a survey currently in progress in Sweden and the United Kingdom.  It uses experiments to examine a pair of questions related to the influence of issue ownership on public perception in politics. Subjects will be recruited by Qualtrics to take an online survey.

The first experiment asks respondents their level of support for a series of welfare reforms, varying the political party that has made the hypothetical proposal for different groups of respondents. My hypothesis is the same proposal will be viewed more favorably when connected to center-left political parties than when it is associated with the center-right. 

The second experiment will ascertain how much influence being associated with welfare cuts has on favorability ratings for political parties. I ask respondents for their level of support for various political parties and the groups that had political parties connected to the proposal from the first experiment will be compared to the control group. I expect that there is a trade-off for political parties, where they expend political approval to make a reform more popular.

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