Everybody Hurts Sometimes: How Personal and Collective Insecurities Shape Policy Preferences Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019 by the Southern Political Science Association. All rights reserved. Understanding when individuals support government action is central to government responsiveness and democratic policy making. While previous research on political behavior has explored the influence of collective economic conditions, self-interested explanations have heavily swayed work on policy preferences. We bridge these two previously distinct literatures to articulate a theory of public policy preferences that highlights when both common and pocketbook factors influence preferences for social insurance. Using a cross-national sample of developed democracies from 1996 and 2006, we conclude that when personal economic conditions are dire, the pull of self-interest trumps both collective and policy concerns.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 16.73

author list (cited authors)

  • Compton, M. E., & Lipsmeyer, C. S.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Compton, Mallory E||Lipsmeyer, Christine S

publication date

  • January 2019