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Short Title

Public Attitude to Welfare Expenditures in 24 Countries

Abstract

Does institutional trust on the individual and on the country level influence public attitudes to state social welfare expenditures in transitional countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia? To answer this question, this study draws on a comparative survey conducted in 24 countries. Multilevel binomial logit regression was used to allow for the simultaneous inclusion of variables at the individual- and country-levels of analysis. Institutional trust is associated with positive attitudes to welfare expenditures on the individual level, but not on the country level. Women, older individuals, those who are less educated, and those of low-income are associated with more positive attitudes to social welfare investments. Ideology is another important factor influencing public attitudes to welfare expenditures. By contrast, no significant effect of country level poverty, inequality, and gross domestic product was found.

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