Why are citizens satisfied with public policies (or not) ?
Paris : Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'évaluation des politiques publiques
public policy, vote, preferencies
This policy book seeks to identify patterns and determinants of policy appreciation. We examine three aspects that influence policy preferences in detail. First, we look at partisanship and show that party identification systematically and strongly determines policy preferences. Voters who identify with parties on the right have similar preferences for government spending, preferring an increase in spending for security, order and the economy but a decrease in spending for social policies. Voters who feel closer to leftist parties, to the contrary, prefer an increase in expenditure in most of the policy fields. Second, we account for issue publics. Our analysis shows that citizens who are directly affected by a policy (e.g. pensioners and policies that concern retirement payments) prefer a stronger increase in government spending or government activity in “their” policy field. Third, our analysis addresses how the perceived importance of an issue and media attention moderate the impact of partisanship on policy appreciation. We show that both factors have moderating dimension on the role of party identification. We rely on nine waves of the Policy Priorities Survey (2014 – 2017). Our data on citizens’ attitudes encompassed 13.570 respondents. In addition, we have collected data on monthly media attention in France for each of the policy issues considered in the survey. Our analysis covers media attention of the three leading national newspapers. The implications of our study, highlighting the relevance of our findings beyond the French case and showing how our analysis might stimulate future research.