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Risk and Health Policy Preferences: Evidence from the UK COVID-19 Crisis

Blumenau, Jack; Hicks, Timothy; Pahontu, Raluca L; (2023) Risk and Health Policy Preferences: Evidence from the UK COVID-19 Crisis. British Journal of Political Science (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic constituted a large shock to the risk of acquiring a disease that represents a meaningful threat to health. We investigate whether individuals subject to larger increases in objective health risk -- operationalised by occupation-based measures of proximity to other people -- became more supportive of increased government healthcare spending during the crisis. Using panel data which tracks UK individuals before and after the outbreak of the pandemic, we implement a fixed-effect design which was pre-registered before the key treatment variable was available to us. While individuals in high-risk occupations were more worried about their personal risk of infection, and had higher COVID death rates, there is no evidence that increased health risks during COVID-19 shifted attitudes on government spending on healthcare, nor broader attitudes relating to redistribution. Our findings are consistent with recent research demonstrating the limited effects of the pandemic on political attitudes.

Type: Article
Title: Risk and Health Policy Preferences: Evidence from the UK COVID-19 Crisis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-jo...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158371
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