Relationship between Education and Attitude towards Social Welfare among Underdogs and Topdogs in 40 Countries


  • Emi Iwatani University of Pittsburgh
  • Feifei Ye University of Pittsburgh


hierarchical linear modeling, attitude towards social welfare, education, role of education in society, societal underdogs


The relationship between education and attitudes towards social welfare is understudied and potentially complex.  It is likely that the relationship differs depending on whether one is an “underdog†in society (e.g., socioeconomically or culturally disadvantaged), or not.  Using hierarchical linear modeling on data from the International Social Survey Programme 2009, we explored whether and to what extent education makes a difference in attitudes about social welfare among underdogs and non-underdogs.  The results suggest that after controlling for age and socioeconomic status, educational attainment among non-underdogs tends to be associated—if at all—with a less favorable attitude towards social welfare.  For underdogs, the association was less negative, or non-existent.  Possible reasons and implications are discussed.

Author Biographies

Emi Iwatani, University of Pittsburgh

Department of Psychology in Education

Feifei Ye, University of Pittsburgh

Department of Psychology in Education

Assistant Professor


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Research Articles