Open Access Article SciPap-1237
One Crisis After Another? How Much Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Opinions on Welfare-State Priorities
by Dan Ryšavý 1,* iD icon

1 Katedra sociologie, andragogiky a kulturní antropologie, Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, Filozofická fakulta, Křížkovského 511/10, Olomouc 77900, Czechia

* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Abstract: With rising spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has become involved in decision-making in areas where it has held back for years. In the case of housing the state’s role has declined sharply since 1989, and the expectation that housing is the private responsibility of each individual and his or her family has strengthened over time as has the homeownership norm. Many measures introduced in the acute phase of the pandemic related in some way to housing and housing quality, such as efforts to ensure social distancing, reduce social contacts, etc. State interventions correspond to the normative assumption that, with some exceptions, the state should not get involved in housing. In this study, we examine the effects of three global crises – the financial crisis, housing affordability, and the pandemic – based on how citizens rank the priorities of the welfare state. Special attention is paid to housing support and how young people differ in evaluation of welfare state priorities. This means people who on the one hand largely make up the net payers in the welfare state and those who have been affected most by the current crisis in housing affordability. The changes in public opinion during the pandemic resemble a Mikado game, a game of pick-up sticks, with health care being deemed the highest priority set apart from the barely distinguishable cluster of other welfare state provisions.

Keywords: Housing, Covid-19 Pandemic, Welfare State, Public Opinion, Global Crisis, Young People

JEL classification:   H53 - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs,   I38 - Government Policy • Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs,   Z18 - Public Policy

SciPap 2021, 29(1), 1237;

Received: 5 February 2021 / Revised: 5 March 2021 / Accepted: 15 March 2021 / Published: 14 April 2021