Mapping the axiology of European welfare

Marzo 2011
Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP) CSIC, Working Paper 2011-04

Luis Moreno, Inés Calzada & Francisco Javier Moreno-Fuentes

While welfare research on historical and institutional trajectories has been carried out extensively in recent decades, less attention has been paid to citizens preferences for social policies. On analysing welfare provision the self-interest and neo-institutionalist theories have often placed incentives and resources at the core of their explanations. But values can also play a very important role in the support and shaping of welfare arrangements. This article explores how values are present in European populations and to what extent variation can be related to the geographical distribution of the different types of welfare regimes. A classification of values associated with social categories, and an overview of the main axiological differences across Europe is therefore put forward.