News from Project B03

Eloisa Harris, Franziska Deeg, Simone Tonelli
Eloisa Harris, Franziska Deeg, Simone Tonelli
Franziska Deeg, Eloisa Harris and Simone Tonelli will conduct anonline survey in Brazil and Germany this spring. The study is co-funded by the Dr. Hans Riegel-Foundation.

Franziska Deeg (project B03), Eloisa Harris (PhD Fellow at BIGSSS) and Simone Tonelli (project A06) have jointly developed a research concept to find out how the Covid-19 pandemic affects the attitudes of the German and Brazilian population towards globalisation and the welfare state. The surveys, planned for spring 2021, will be funded by the CRC 1342 and the Dr. Hans Riegel-Stiftung. In an interview conducted by email, Deeg, Harris and Tonelli explain the background and hypotheses of their study.

When the pandemic began to spread, globalization became shock-frozen - governments restricted international travelling and or closed boarders entirely. Many countries began to realize how dependent they are on global production and trade chains – and their governments announced to reverse this dependence for critical goods and sectors of the economy. On the other hand, the testing, financing, and distribution of vaccines to fight the pandemic seems impossible without the advantages globalization is providing. One year into the pandemic – what is your take on the future of globalisation?

Deeg, Harris und Tonelli: This question, or more like paradox, is among those that inspired our project. Over the past decades, we witnessed a resurgence of neoliberal tendencies, growing international free trade, and the crystallization of a global supply chain that made countries significantly more dependent to one another. At the same time, the process of economic globalization created a group of so-called “losers”, that is, a group of people whose jobs and incomes are threatened by international markets. Now, the pandemic is bringing home the existence of novel health-related risks of globalization, and further economic and social divides that have resulted as a consequence of wealth disparity and diverging strategies of government intervention across the globe.

Clearly, we do not have (yet) an answer to your question. As you mentioned, on the one hand the run for a vaccine is making clear the importance of international cooperation, positively affecting the support for a more political globalization. On the other hand, the economic repercussion may push people into more protectionist tendencies and further reduce the support for economic globalization. However, we think that the individual preferences for more or less economic and political globalization will depend on the extent, and the kind, of exposure people had to the economic, health-related and social consequences of the pandemic.

The welfare state plays a critical role in mitigating the non-health-related effects of the pandemic. In the survey, that you are preparing, you want to investigate citizens’ attitudes towards the welfare state, and how this may have changed due to the pandemic. Shouldn’t the answer to this be straightforward?

Deeg, Harris und Tonelli: If there is something research on social policy preferences taught us is that support for redistribution is never straightforward. In the project, we build on existing literature about why and how preferences are formed, to explain potential differences between groups and between countries. Demand for social policies are not just a function of income, as traditional welfare state scholarship may suggest, but interact with a number of other factors: Labour market volatility, education, optimism, political trust and other environmental factors. We draw from two main arguments to generate expectations about which groups support different social policies, and why. In a similar way, we argue that the pandemic is exposing to its economic consequences some groups more than others, and thus, the preferences of the individuals will be also a function of the exposure to these risks. We put forward two mechanisms that we think can explain how the exposure to risk affects policy preferences. On the one hand, we expect that exposure to economic insecurity caused by the pandemic will lead individuals affected by economic insecurity to demand insurance from their risk. On the other hand, given the extend of media coverage about the consequences of the pandemic, individuals who were not directly affected by the pandemic may feel solidaristic with certain groups and support more redistribution. Thus, we expect that both those economically affected, through self-interest, and those not affected, through solidarity, to support welfare state spending.

Furthermore, as the risks associated with the current situation are transversal to the traditional welfare state coalitions, it will be interesting to see if new coalitions will emerge as a consequence of the pandemic. This will be especially interesting in the context of Brazil, where the welfare state is highly fragmented and covers certain some groups (formal workers) better than others (informal workers). In this context, welfare preferences have so far not been clearly visible, because of low trust in the government, low tax morale etc., but a disruptive event such as the pandemic might change that.

In your survey will look at Brazil and Germany. Why did you choose these two countries?

Deeg, Harris und Tonelli: The two countries are interesting to compare because they are both highly integrated in the global market, they were both highly affected by the crisis, not only in terms of health but also in terms of the economy. Both governments took severe containment measures. At the same time, these containment measures were not equally effective, the two economies vary in the degree of work-from-home and they have different welfare systems. We think these are interesting variations to test our assumptions in different contexts.

How will your survey be rolled out? Do you have access to a representative sample of the population? Or will the survey be online for everyone to participate?

Deeg, Harris und Tonelli: We will conduct online surveys in Germany and Brazil in March 2021 (roughly one year after the start of the global pandemic). We will use an international survey company which works similarly to a market place, where people can select in which surveys they want to participate. We will be able to connect with over 1000 respondents per country (final number of observations to be determined) and the survey will be representative for the online population and stratified by age (between 18 and 65), gender, region and either income or education (we are still looking into it).

Due to budget limitations, we are unable to field household surveys. Of course, sampling can always be improved but we are positive that our samples will be sufficiently representative of our population of interest: 86% of Germans and about 67% of Brazilians have access to the internet. However, non-users are overrepresented among the elderlies and they would be excluded anyway from our survey.

The three of you are researchers in different projects of the CRC and at the BIGGGS. Why did you decide to cooperate on this?

Deeg, Harris und Tonelli: Through the CRC, we had the chance to get to know each other be it at Jour Fixe, Summer Schools or at social events. Even though our CRC-projects focus on different aspects of the welfare state, we found that we have other common research interests, such as the study of individual policy preferences and attitudes, survey methods and quantitative analysis. Each of us brings complementary knowledge to the project, and all of us bring what we have learned in the past years in the CRC to develop something ourselves.


Contact:
Franziska Deeg
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: fdeeg@uni-koeln.de

Simone Tonelli
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58540
E-Mail: si_to@uni-bremen.de

In a statement on recent decisions by federal and state governments, scientists criticise how the infection figures are determined, the unspecific prevention measures and the threat of a second lockdown.

Following the conference of the German Chancellor, Prime Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany on 14 October 2020, a group of health and political scientists, physicians, lawyers of a nursing manager - which also includes Philip Manow from CRC 1342 - published an ad-hoc statement. The group speaks of "worrying undesirable developments" and calls for the correct collection and interpretation of data on COVID-19 infections, more specific measures to protect risk groups and modern risk communication instead of the threat of a renewed lockdown.

The group criticises the fact that the rate of infection is only observed by means of cause-related coronate tests, i.e. within a non-representative sample. However, no valid conclusions could be drawn from this about the incidence of infection in the population as a whole. This would require large-scale tests in a representative sample (cohort studies). Due to this uncertain data situation, there is a lack of reliable values for controlling prevention measures and thus the pandemic.

In the authors' view, general prevention measures and the tracking of infections are important, but ultimately successful prevention can only be achieved through target-group-oriented measures. The protection of "vulnerable groups of people" must therefore have top priority.

Ad-hoc-Stellungnahme: Die Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 - Gleichgewicht und Augenmaß behalten

Thesenpapier zur Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19. Datenbasis verbessern, Prävention gezielt weiterentwickeln, Bürgerrechte wahren.

Thesenpapier 2.0 zur Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19. Datenbasis verbessern, Prävention gezielt weiterentwickeln, Bürgerrechte wahren.

Thesenpapier 3.0 zu SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 - Strategie: Stabile Kontrolle des Infektionsgeschehens, Prävention: Risikosituationen verbessern, Bürgerrechte: Rückkehr zur Normalität.

Die Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 - der Übergang zur chronischen Phase. Verbesserung der Outcomes in Sicht; Stabile Kontrolle: Würde und Humanität wahren; Diskursverengung vermeiden: Corona nicht politisieren.

 


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Philip Manow
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58580
E-Mail: manow@uni-bremen.de

Franziska Deeg, Dr. Sarah Berens
Franziska Deeg, Dr. Sarah Berens
Sarah Berens and Franziska Deeg of project B03 look back on their surveys in Mexico and Brazil and reveal first results.

Your data collection has already taken place a little while ago: Where did you conduct your survey in Brazil and Mexico and who did you interview?

Franziska Deeg: In Mexico we conducted the survey in two states: Puebla and Querétaro. In Brazil we were in the state of Sao Paulo. Both surveys were household surveys with a representative sample. So we interviewed randomly selected people, both in the city and in the countryside.

And how many were there in each case?

Deeg: In Mexico there were 1400 respondents and in Brazil 1008.

What exactly did you want to find out?

Sarah Berens: We are interested in the social policy preferences of the Mexican and Brazilian population. We are investigating the influence of changes in economic and trade relations between countries on normal, average citizens and their social policy preferences.

How did you do this?

Berens: We have studied the phenomenon in different ways. First we asked: Do you want the state to further develop the pension system? Or the health system? Should the state spend more money on this? We asked about different policy areas within social policy: attitudes towards pensions, expansion of the health care and education systems. And also about conditional cash transfers such as Progresa in Mexico and Bolsa Familia in Brazil. We also asked more general questions, such as to what extent the respondent is in favour of more or less redistribution. And about their tax preferences: progressive income taxes, yes or no? This battery of questions allows us to examine respondents' attitudes to the welfare state from a variety of perspectives.

Deeg: In Mexico we also conducted a conjoint analysis as part of the survey. The respondents are specifically offered a policy design that varies in its design (expansion versus reduction of the program; who should have access, e.g. only formal employees or everyone; how should the program be financed, tax increase for the rich or e.g. exclusively through contributions). We ask to what extent the respondent likes this concrete policy design or would prefer to support the alternative proposal shown. He or she should then assess how well he or she liked offer A compared to offer B. Not only the design but also the analysis is now very exciting.

Did your questions differ between Mexico and Brazil?

Berens: We kept one group of questions the same so that we could compare both cases. That was important to us. The very concrete conjoint analysis on the design of social policy was very specific to Mexico. For Brazil, we designed different experiments that shed light on our big question about the influence of economic interdependence on social policy preferences in different ways, so that we have different ways of looking at the phenomenon to be explained.

Your data analysis is not yet complete, but are there already first results?

Berens: A manuscript paper already exists from the data on Mexico. We are studying economic interdependence via the labour market and migration. At the time when we were in Mexico, a great many people from Central America moved to the USA through Mexico. This is one of the issues that we asked about as part of the survey. Economic interdependence is not just trade, but also has very specific implications for the labour market through labour migration between Mexico, the USA as a strong trading partner and as a major economic power, and the other Central American countries such as Honduras or Nicaragua, which are considerably poorer. Our first paper deals with this influence of different types of migration on social policy preferences in Mexico. The argument is somewhat complex. We examine specifically the influence of two groups: refugees from Central America and returnees, i.e. Mexican migrants who have worked in the US for a while and then come back to Mexico to enter the labour market. We contrast the influence of these two groups and ask: Do they have different effects on social policy preferences for different groups within Mexico? Interestingly, it turns out that the refugees from Central America play no role in this respect: We do not see any strong effects, especially among the poorer sections of the population, who in fact should feel particularly under pressure and perceive the refugees as competitors in the labour market. Rather, it is the better educated Mexicans, the richer ones, who react sensitively to the returnees from the USA. The returnees are competitors for the well-educated because they acquired better skills in the USA. And anyway, people who go to the USA are on average a little more educated or better educated. When this group comes back, we see a greater impact on welfare state preferences among Mexicans.

And what do the better educated Mexicans want when they see that many migrants return from the US?

Berens: Less welfare state. That the cake gets smaller or limited. That only those Mexicans living in Mexico who are in the formal labor market have access to social policy programs, such as pensions. There is a shift towards more exclusion, away from solidarity. The interesting thing is that this attitude is directed against those who are actually Mexicans. It is not so much the Central American foreigners that bother them, but their fellow countrymen who went to the USA and left Mexico behind for a while and would now like to have a pension.

Deeg: Especially the formally employed are more opposed to the returnees, because those have not paid into the social security system and would still like to have access to it. The question of solidarity arises: You were in the USA and worked there. And now you are coming back and you have a good chance of finding formal employment on the labour market, because you are in any case relatively better educated than other parts of the population. And then you should still not have access to social goods.

Does that also apply to health insurance?

Berens: In Mexico the health system has been reformed and is now universal. Even people who haven't paid for their health care have access to it. The pension system, on the other hand, is based on contributions; only those who have paid in receive benefits. That's the exciting thing about our project: by looking at different policy areas that differ in accessibility for different groups, we can observe: Where is this about solidarity or exclusion?

Deeg: This is exactly why the argument in the paper is so complex, because we are looking at two groups of migrants - the refugees and the returnees. And then in Mexico we differentiate between the formally and informally employed and according to skill level. Then there are different types of social benefits, which are accessable in different ways for different groups. All this makes the point relatively complex.

How about Brazil?

Berens: There we are still stuck in huge mountains of data. We have not yet gotten around to analyzing it. For the second half of the project we will analyze this data, evaluate different experiments and compare the results with those we have found in Mexico.

Deeg: Brazil is also very interesting in terms of trade policy. Mexico is very dependent on the USA, Brazil is a little bit diversified, although there is a dependence on China for example. In any case, there are interesting dynamics, especially because the type of exports from both countries is different. That's why it's definitely exciting to take a closer look at this.

Did you also have a special perspective in Brazil, as in the case of Mexico, where you specifically looked at migration?

Berens: We also looked at migration in Brazil, because we saw that it plays such a big role in Mexico and we wanted to have the opportunity to make a statement on this with the Brazilian data. But migration in Brazil is quite different. The group of migrants that plays a stronger role comes mainly from Venezuela. And then there is a smaller group of Haitians who are driven out of Haiti by poverty and state failure and who are perceived in a predominantly negative way in Brazil.

Deeg: We also look at domestic migration. Many people from the north of Brazil migrate to the south because there are more jobs there. These internal migrants are also perceived very negatively in the cities. The question is raised whether these migrants should have access to social benefits or not. Which puts solidarity within the country to the test.


Contact:
Dr. Sarah Berens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: sarah.berens@uni-koeln.de

Franziska Deeg
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: fdeeg@uni-koeln.de

The second of the two surveys in Latin America by the Cologne CRC members took place this summer in the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil.

In the Cologne part of project B03, two surveys were carried out - one in Mexico and one in Brazil - in order to gain insights into the connection between trade and social policy at the micro level. The survey covered several dimensions: respondents had the opportunity to provide information on issues such as social policy, trade, migration, security and corruption. With the data, the Cologne team hopes to explore the link between globalisation and socio-political preferences in Brazil, but many other interesting questions can also be addressed.

Franziska Deeg in Sao Paulo.

To accompany the implementation in Brazil, Franziska Deeg, the Cologne PhD student of the B03 project team, spent almost three weeks in Sao Paulo. Together with the opinion research institute IBOPE, she was able to completely adapt the questionnaire to the Brazilian context and the Portuguese language. Furthermore, 30 pre-tests with low-income households were carried out to test the questions and interview training was implemented to reduce interviewer effects.

The team has thus reached another important milestone in the project and can now fully concentrate on evaluating the extensive data sets from the surveys in Mexico and Brazil. The data has been available to the Cologne B03 team since mid-August.


Contact:
Dr. Sarah Berens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: sarah.berens@uni-koeln.de

Franziska Deeg
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: fdeeg@uni-koeln.de

As part of the B03 survey in Mexico by the Cologne project team, we prepared a pre-analysis plan and registered it with EGAP.

This possibility is used by more and more scientists to make experimental and academic work more transparent.

The Pre-Analysis Plan of the B03 project can be downloaded here.

Abstract:

We promote the argument that countries' economic structural interdependence based on trade relationships influence individual preferences for social policy programs. When a central trading partner raises barriers in the form of increased tolls and tariffs it will increase the perception of labor market vulnerability and economic risk. Subsequently, increased risk perception should fuel different demands for different types of social policy reforms. Labor market segmentation into formal and informal workers thereby moderates the impact of risk. Our analysis contains two steps: the impact of changing trade relationships on individual economic risk perception, and, subsequently, the effect of risk on social policy preferences. To investigate the first part of the argument, we use a vignette experiment that primes individuals about hazards of changes in current trade relationships between Mexico and the U.S.. Next, we analyze how risk perception influences social policy preferences and how far different redistribution coalitions arise. As workers embedded in notoriously permeable labor markets not only frequently switch the sector of employment, but also share households with a spouse who works e. g. in the informal sector, social policy preferences cannot be simply derived from income level. Using a conjoint experiment that models the trade-off between different social policies and different degrees of scope, level, and who pays for it, allows to study the effect of increased risk perception and employment sector on policy preferences in a more nuanced way. We study our argument with an experimental survey for the case of Mexico in 2018.


Contact:
Dr. Sarah Berens
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: sarah.berens@uni-koeln.de

Franziska Deeg
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: fdeeg@uni-koeln.de

Franziska Deeg and Leticia Juarez
Franziska Deeg and Leticia Juarez
Franziska Deeg spent two months in Mexico City for project B03 in order to coordinate the final preparations and the conduct of the interviews on site.

In the Cologne part of project B03, two surveys will be conducted - one in Mexico and one in Brazil - in order to gain insights into the connection between trade and social policy at the micro level. The first survey in Mexico was completed on 21 November: a milestone for the B03 project team. Since June, the study has been prepared in Cologne and finally implemented from September to November by PhD student Franziska Deeg on site and with the active support of the Cologne team. The time on site in Mexico City was particularly labour-intensive, as the questionnaire still had to be translated and the pre-tests had to be completed. In addition, interviewer trainings were conducted.

For the preparation and final implementation of the survey, there was a lively exchange between Ms. Deeg and Beltran, Juarez y Asociados (BGC), the public opinion research institute commissioned to collect the data. Special attention was paid to a conceptually correct translation of the questionnaire, which was also adapted to the Mexican case on social policy. This was a particular challenge as the social system in Mexico is highly fragmented. It was also possible for the team to conduct 60 pre-test interviews in the two countries selected for the study (Puebla and Queretaro). This allowed initial insights into the data to be gained and the questionnaire to be further adapted. The main focus here was on the comprehensibility of the questions, and especially the questions on social policy could be further improved by the experience gained in the pre-test.

Before the final data collection, the questionnaire was thoroughly reviewed in a training session with all interviewers. Through the training, interviewer effects could be greatly reduced and special features of the survey could be addressed, such as the conjoint.

Franziska Deeg was able to combine her stay in Mexico City with a research visit to the Colegio de Mexico (Colmex), one of the best universities in Latin America. She was able to benefit from the university's rich lecture programme, learn more about the numerous research activities at Colmex and collaborate with Dr. Melina Altamirano, who strongly supported the implementation of the study with her know-how.

Thanks to the efficient work of the entire team and the seven-week stay in MExiko, the survey was successfully implemented. The data is now available and ready for analysis.


Contact:
Franziska Deeg
CRC 1342: Global Dynamics of Social Policy, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2
50931 Köln
Phone: +49 221 470-2853
E-Mail: fdeeg@uni-koeln.de