AbstractHow does perceived economic inequality shape individuals’ support of a political regime? Does economic inequality dampen regime support more in autocracies than in democracies? Using data collected from the fourth wave of Asian Barometer Survey (ABS) conducted between 2014 and 2016, we find that the perception of economic inequality decreases public support for the political regime in East Asian countries. Moreover, this adverse effect is larger is autocracies than in democracies. We further examine three possible mechanisms why economic inequality decreases regime support: change of political values, increase of preference for redistribution, and decline of social trust. Employing a causal mediation analysis, we find that political value orientation plays a much salient mediating role than redistributive preference and social trust do between perceived economic inequality and regime support. Notably, the political-value mechanism is also more salient in East Asian autocracies than democracies.
SubjectsEconomic inequality, Support, Political regime, Authoritarian values, East Asia
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