Moral Universalism and the Structure of Ideology
Throughout the Western world, people's policy views are correlated across domains in a strikingly similar fashion. This paper proposes that what partly explains the structure of ideology is moral universalism: the extent to which people's altruism and trust remain constant as social distance increases. In new large-scale multinational surveys, heterogeneity in universalism descriptively explains why the left and right both simultaneously support and oppose different types of government spending. Moreover, the left-right divide on topics such as redistribution strongly depends on whether people evaluate more or less universalist policies. Large-scale donation data provide additional evidence for the political left's universalism.
Benjamin Enke & Ricardo Rodríguez-Padilla & Florian Zimmermann, 2023. "Moral Universalism and the Structure of Ideology," The Review of Economic Studies, vol 90(4), pages 1934-1962. citation courtesy of