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    Video now available: 'Sustainability of public pension systems' with Jonas Radl

    CPC welcomed Dr Jonas Radl on 17 January 2019, who gave a seminar on the effects of the perceived sustainability of public pension systems on social policy preferences, with evidence from a survey experiment in Germany, Spain and the United States.

    Jonas Radl is a sociologist from Berlin and currently an Associate Professor and “Ramón y Cajal” Fellow at the Department of Social Sciences of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, as well as member of the Carlos III-Juan March Institute of Social Sciences (IC3JM). Since March 2018, he has been the Principal Investigator of the research project “Effort and Social Inequality” (EFFORT), funded by a Starting Grant by the European Research Council, and has led a Research Group at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center related to this interdisciplinary project.

    He studied Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin (Diplom, 2006) and obtained a PhD in Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence in 2010. His research interests include: retirement and the life course, social stratification and educational attainment, gender and ethnic inequality, social participation and family.

    In his seminar, Jonas analyses how information on the financial sustainability of pension systems affects support for various avenues of welfare state reform, drawing on new experimental evidence regarding three advanced democracies with ageing populations – Germany, Spain and United States. Based on newly conducted online surveys of the general population and an experimental approach, he examines how ‘hard knowledge’ is related to the support for concrete public policy reforms.

    There is growing research showing that popular attitudes towards public policy reforms are sensitive to issue knowledge. It is also widely believed that well-informed people tend to prefer different policy reforms than ill-informed people. His work applies these general insights of public opinion research to the analysis of attitudes towards welfare reform in the wake of demographic ageing.

    The first objective of his project is to ascertain how random exposure to the treatment – which varies in content across the study countries - shapes attitudes toward social spending, and, in that case, what kinds of outcomes are most strongly affected. By exploiting variation in respondents’ prior pension knowledge, the second objective is to find out to what extent measured impacts are driven by priming or information effects, respectively. Finally, he also set out to discover what individual characteristics (age, gender, education) moderate the information effect on policy preferences. The project has important implications for the dynamics of public discourse on welfare reform.

    A recording of the seminar is available on the CPC YouTube channel:

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    Posted 24/01/2019 13:11