QoG lunch seminar with Miroslav Nemčok

Society and economy

“Support for Redistribution vs. Political trust: How Material Circumstances Make These Two Types of Welfare State Support Mutually Exclusive”

30 Nov 2022
12:00 - 13:00
Stora Skansen (room B336), Sprängkullsgatan 19

Miroslav Nemčok, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oslo, Department of Political Science
Good to know
The QoG institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government, broadly defined as trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions.

All seminars are held in English unless stated otherwise.
The Quality of Government Institute


Support for the welfare system is conventionally measured by two concepts: support for redistribution (i.e., approval of redistribution principles) and political trust (i.e., a more general degree of trust in the institutions and their main representatives). This research proposes that material circumstances constitute the common denominator impacting the two distinctive supports for the welfare system in a mutually exclusive way. As people are becoming wealthier, they are decreasingly willing to share their “well-deserved” resources. At the same time, their political trust increases, supposedly because they believe that the current political representation contributed to the improvement in their lives. On the other hand, as people are getting poorer, they tend to blame, and hence distrust, the government, while their support for redistribution rises because it improves their own situation. These two opposite tendencies are first demonstrated via cross-sectional European Social Survey (ESS). Second, the internal validity of the role of material circumstances in people’s political trust and redistribution preferences is supported via analyses utilizing three-wave panel surveys conducted in Norway and Germany. Most importantly, these findings imply that welfare systems can enjoy only one kind of support within the same individuals.