Automation Risk and Support for Welfare Policies: How Does the Threat of Unemployment Affect Demanding Active Labour Market Policy Support?

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How does unemployment risk affect workers’ support for demanding active labour market policies (ALMPs)? There may be a substantial number of workers who experience unemployment risk from labour market disruptions. Yet, we know less about its impact on demanding ALMP support than the impact of unemployment status. Here, I explore the impact of unemployment risk through automation. Automation-threatened workers’ support for demanding ALMPs may be influenced by two opposing considerations that are linked to their potential reliance on welfare. First, they may worry about barriers to welfare access. Second, they may worry about welfare competition, especially under austerity. Their support for demanding ALMPs would hence depend on which consideration they find to be most salient. Based on the European Social Survey (2016) data on West European countries, I find that automation-threatened workers significantly support such policies. This may indicate that they find welfare competition concerns more salient than welfare access ones.
TidsskriftJournal of International and Comparative Social Policy
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)76-91
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2021
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Labour market changes
  • Social policy
  • Policy preferences
  • Automation
  • Welfare state
  • Comparative politics