Does Information about Inequality and Discrimination in Early Child Care Affect Policy Preferences?

We investigate public preferences for equity-enhancing policies in access to early child care, using a survey experiment with a representative sample of the German population (n ≈ 4, 800). We observe strong misperceptions about migrant-native inequalities in early child care that vary by respondents’ age and right-wing voting preferences. Randomly providing information about the actual extent of inequalities has a nuanced impact on the support for equity-enhancing policy reforms: it increases support for respondents who initially underestimated these inequalities, and tends to decrease support for those who initially overestimated them. This asymmetric effect leads to a more consensual policy view, substantially decreasing the polarization in policy support between under- and overestimators. Our results suggest that correcting misperceptions can align public policy preferences, potentially leading to less polarized debates about how to address inequalities and discrimination.

25. January 2024

Authors Henning Hermes Philipp Lergetporer Fabian Mierisch Guido Schwerdt Simon Wiederhold

Whom to contact

Mitglied der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft LogoTotal-Equality-LogoSupported by the BMWK