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Unequal policy responsiveness in the Netherlands

  • Schakel W
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Scholars have long recognized that equality in policy responsiveness is potentially undermined by the existence of economic inequality. However, there is still a lack of empirical research testing whether and how this actually occurs, especially outside of the USA. This study takes up the question whether unequal representation also exists in a country that is in some ways a least-likely case, namely the Netherlands. It does so by linking public opinion to policy on 291 potential policy changes be- tween 1979 and 2012. This reveals, first, that policy responsiveness is much stronger for high incomes than for low or median incomes. Second, an exploration of the un- derlying causal mechanisms finds support for the role of political participation of wealthier versus poorer citizens, while the socioeconomic background of parliamen- tarians relative to the broader public does not seem to matter. Corporate lobbying may also contribute to unequal responsiveness.




Schakel, W. (2019). Unequal policy responsiveness in the Netherlands. Socio-Economic Review.

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