Concentrated Burdens: How Self-Interest and Partisanship Shape Opinion on Opioid Treatment Policy

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Authors Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, Michael S. Hankinson
Paper Category ,
Paper Abstract When does self-interest overwhelm partisan predispositions in forming opinions on contentious public policies? Using data from a nationally representative survey sample, we show how these two factors interact in shaping public opinion on opioid treatment policy. Moreover, we use two experiments to test how the allocation of the funding and spatial burdens inherent in treatment policy alter policy preferences. We find that a redistributive framework of funding opioid treatment receives widespread political support, including from partisan groups traditionally opposed to redistribution. Moreover, self-interest based on objective need for these policies and income can overwhelm the partisan predispositions of people who are cross-pressured when forming opinions on opioid treatment policy. However, respondents across the political spectrum exhibit consistent opposition to the implementation of policy when treatment clinics are proposed near their home. These results highlight how partisanship and self-interest interact in the formation of preferences on public policy with concentrated burdens.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language R

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