Attitudes towards income and wealth inequality and support for scottish independence over time and the interaction with national identity

Niedzwiedz, C. L. and Kandlik-Eltanani, M. (2014) Attitudes towards income and wealth inequality and support for scottish independence over time and the interaction with national identity. Scottish Affairs, 23(1), pp. 27-54. (doi: 10.3366/scot.2014.0004)

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Abstract

As the Scottish independence referendum is drawing near, the importance of understanding public attitudes that influence support for independence is increasing. The relationship between attitudes towards social inequality and support for independence is not well understood. Using data from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, we empirically analysed the relationship between attitudes towards income and wealth inequality, taxation, and income redistribution and support for independence over time. Further, we examined to what extent party identification explained the findings and the interaction between attitudes towards social inequality and national identity. Individuals who held more left-wing attitudes towards social inequality were more likely to support independence and the associations were stronger among individuals identifying as more Scottish. Over time, the associations remained relatively consistent. Party identification explained some, but not all of the associations. There was evidence to suggest that having a positive attitude towards the government's role in income redistribution may be becoming more important for independence support in recent years, especially among the more Scottish groups. The opposite was found for general attitudes towards wealth inequality. Further analysis is required to investigate whether these trends continue as the campaigns for and against independence become more active.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Niedzwiedz, Dr Claire
Authors: Niedzwiedz, C. L., and Kandlik-Eltanani, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Scottish Affairs
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISSN:0966-0356
ISSN (Online):2053-888X
Published Online:01 January 2014

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