Religion and redistributive voting in Western Europe


Journal Article

Why some individuals, who would clearly benefit from redistribution, do not vote for parties offering redistributive policies is an old puzzle of redistributive politics. Recent work in political economy offers an explanation based on the interplay between religious identity and party policies. Strategic parties bundle conservative moral policies with anti-redistribution positions inducing individuals with a strong religious identity to vote based on moral rather than economic preferences. I test this theory using microlevel data on individuals' vote choices in 24 recent multiparty elections in 15 Western European countries. I use an integrated model of religion, economic and moral preferences, and vote choice to show that religious individuals possess less liberal economic preferences, which shapes their vote choice against redistributive parties. This holds even for individuals who would clearly benefit from redistribution. Moreover, the redistributive vote of religious individuals is primarily based on economic not moral preferences. © Southern Political Science Association 2013.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Stegmueller, D

Published Date

  • October 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 75 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1064 - 1076

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-2508

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3816

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S0022381613001023

Citation Source

  • Scopus