Out now: Subjective financial insecurity and support for European unification
Fernández, J. & Teney, C. (2023)
News from Nov 03, 2023
The utilitarian approach to pro-EU attitudes – noting that citizens establish their preferences based on their perceived self-interest – remains the dominant one in the social science literature on these attitudes. Yet previous work following this approach has overlooked the role of subjective financial insecurity. Based on prospect theory and marginal utility theory, we argue that individuals who feel financially insecure determine their preference for further European unification in terms of the gains and losses for themselves and that, since they are disproportionately sensitive to economic losses, they display more risk aversion and oppose further macro-political changes in the form of further European unification. Using hybrid models and 15 waves of a representative panel survey conducted in the Netherlands and covering 2008–2023, the evidence strongly supports our expectation. Controlling for individual education, occupational status, individual income, gender and age, subjective financial insecurity is cross-sectionally and longitudinally related to support for European integration. People generally feeling financially insecure (those who over time increased their feeling of financial insecurity) display significantly less support for further European unification than people who generally feel financially secure (people who over time did not feel more financially insecure).