In recent years, many countries have faced pressure to cut the costs of the welfare state, and different strategies have been utilized to achieve this, including stricter eligibility requirements, reduced level of benefits, and reduced maximum duration of benefits. This contribution reports the results from a Norwegian survey designed to measure which of these strategies the general population would prefer in a situation where the government has to tighten various social security schemes. For a given reduction in total costs, there is a trade‐off between the desire to avoid large individual benefit reductions and the desire to protect some groups of benefit recipients from any cuts. Different preferences for how to retrench the welfare state will reflect how individuals trade off these concerns. We find a striking association between political affiliation and preferred retrenchment strategy. Right‐wingers typically prefer to tighten the eligibility criteria, while left‐wingers typically prefer to reduce the benefit level. Furthermore, our results indicate that labor market outsiders are less in favor of tightening the eligibility criteria, but more in favor of reducing the maximum duration of benefits, than labor market insiders. This article contributes to the literature on welfare state retrenchment by examining which retrenchment strategy that the public prefers, which in turn sheds light on which measures that are likely to receive popular support from different demographics in the population.
Aims: Immunisation causes dramatic reductions in morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases; however, resistance to vaccination is nonetheless widespread. An understudied issue – explored here – is whether appeals to collective as opposed to individual benefits of vaccination encourage people to vaccinate. Knowledge of this is important not least with respect to the design of public health campaigns, which often lack information about the collective benefits of vaccination. Methods: Using a between-subjects experimental survey design, we test whether information about the effects of herd immunity influences people’s decision to vaccinate. A representative sample of Norwegians was confronted with a hypothetical scenario in which a new and infectious disease is on its way to Norway. The sample was split in three – a control group and two treatment groups. The one treatment group was provided information about collective benefits of vaccination; the other was provided information about the individual benefits of vaccination. Results: Both treatments positively affect people’s decision to vaccinate; however, informing about the collective benefits has an even stronger effect than informing about the individual benefits. Conclusions: Our results suggest that people’s decision about whether to vaccinate and thus contribute to herd immunity is influenced by concern for others. Thus, stressing the collective benefits of vaccination could increase the effectiveness of health campaigns.
This article calls attention to some designs in survey experiments that give new leverage in hypothesis testing and validation. The premise of this review is the modesty of survey experiments—modesty of treatment, modesty of scale, modesty of measurement. The focus of this review, accordingly, is the compensating virtues of modesty. With respect to hypothesis testing, I spotlight (a) cross-category comparisons, (b) null-by-design experiments, (c) explication, (d) conjoint designs, and (e) sequential factorials. With respect to validation regimes, I discuss (a) parallel studies, (b) paired designs, and (c) splicing. Throughout, the emphasis is on moving from experiment in the singular to experiments in the plural, learning as you go.
Can international courts impact public opinion? There are many reasons to think not. The growing prominence of international courts in the domestic public sphere requires though reconsideration of this presumption. This experimental study takes the existing US-centric research on the effects of courts on public opinion a step further by testing whether the level of a court matters, whether domestic, international or even foreign. A panel of respondents in Norway were tested as to their views on prostitution laws and family rights to asylum after the random informational ‘treatments’ based on the decisions and reasoning of different courts. The overall shift in opinion was statistically significant but only when respondents received a double treatment of reasoning and judicial authority. Surprisingly, respondents receiving this information moderated their opinions regardless of the identity of the court. Similar impacts were generated when courts were replaced with non-judicial but authoritative actors such as the United Nations or Amnesty International. Nonetheless, the results, for at least Norway, lend support to a transpositional theory of international courts while casting doubt on ideas of credible commitment. It is the endorsement by a court not the type of a court that it is critical for inflecting public opinion.
I denne studien undersøker vi forskjeller i hvordan folk på høyre- og venstresiden forholder seg til nyhetsmedier som er forankret på høyre- eller venstresiden i norsk politikk. Vi studerer hvordan individer med ulike politiske preferanser anser aviser som betydningsfulle og troverdige nyhetskilder. Vi finner klare forskjeller blant folk som plasserer seg på høyre- og venstresiden når det gjelder tillit til en dagsavis på venstresiden (Klassekampen). Vi finner motsatt mønster for en dagsavis assosiert med høyresiden (Dagens Næringsliv), men her er forskjellen mellom venstre- og høyresiden ikke statistisk signifikant. Videre finner vi at forskjellene for Klassekampen modereres noe, men forblir statistisk signifikant dersom vi kontrollerer for hvor viktig avisen er som kilde til nyheter. Altså tyder våre funn på at forskjeller mellom høyre- og venstresidens tillit til Klassekampen varierer uavhengig av hvor viktig avisen er som kilde til nyheter. Funnene diskuteres i lys av litteraturen om selektiv eksponering og selektiv tillit.
Nøkkelord: tillit til journalistikk, tillit til medier, selektiv eksponering, selektiv tillit, surveydata
A number of studies from the USA have shown that people seek out information that does not challenge their worldview. People are less likely to read and trust media sources they disagree with ideologically. However, we have little knowledge regarding these trends in the Norwegian context. In this study, we examine the relationship between people’s ideology (left/right scale) and their use of and trust in newspapers that have historically been affiliated to the left and the right side of politics. We find clear differences between respondents on the left and the right when it comes to media use and trust in media for a left-leaning paper (Klassekampen). The differences in trust remain significant after controlling for selective exposure. The same differences are not found for a right-leaning newspaper (Dagens Næringsliv). These findings are discussed in light of the literature on selective exposure and selective trust.
Keywords: trust in journalism, trust in media, selective exposure, selective trust, survey research