Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-14-2015

Faculty Advisor(s)

Ann Gordon


Although there is much debate over the effectiveness of social programs, there has not been much research attempting to discover who exactly supports spending government resources on welfare. Previous research suggests that the American people are divided over creating a welfare state. Many economic data shows that providing assistance is beneficial short-term, but can have varying effects in the future. The research I conducted attempts to define and analyze welfare while surmising which groups of Americans are most likely to back increased federal spending towards welfare. Using the ANES 2012 data, I evaluated voter responses to election surveys, paying close attention to a respondent’s demographic. Through statistical analysis, I have discovered that a family’s income level appears to have the most direct correlation with support for welfare. As a whole, Americans tend to want to reduce welfare spending. Surprisingly, age does not play a major role in determining a person’s opinion on welfare. I hypothesize that those who are more conservative will not support welfare, as right-minded economics and Republicans are typically against federal spending in this area. I also hypothesize the ultra wealthy are also in support of welfare because they are philanthropically compelled to give to those who are not as privileged and are more likely to approve of spending in general.


Presented at the Spring 2015 Student Research Day at Chapman University.