The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

Max Koch


Max Koch. Foto: Johan Persson.

Ecological ceiling and social floor: Public support for eco‐social policies in Sweden


  • Jamil Khan
  • Kajsa Emilsson
  • Martin Fritz
  • Max Koch
  • Roger Hildingsson
  • Håkan Johansson

Summary, in English

In this article, we investigate public support for eco-social policies combining goals of social justice and ecological sustainability. Eco-social policies contribute both to providing a social floor or redistributing resources to where they are needed and to respecting an ecological ceiling by keeping human activities within ecological limits. We discuss five such policies and highlight arguments for and against defining them as eco-social policies: a maximum income, a wealth tax, a basic income, a working time reduction and a meat tax. Asking what the social and individual determinants of supporting these policies are, we use 2020 data from a representative survey in Sweden containing information about how respondents evaluate the policies. We run regression analyses to estimate the effects on these evaluations and test for socio-economic, knowledge-based and value-based factors. Results show that (1) in Sweden a working time reduction is the most supported eco-social policy; (2) political left orientation increases support for all five eco-social policies; (3) socio-economic factors have effects on wealth tax, maximum income and working time reduction; and (4) knowledge-based factors are more associated with the meat tax. Thus, socio-economic and knowledge-based models have the most significance for policies that could be understood as being either social or environmental, while value-based models have significance across potentially perceived policy divides and hence to a greater extent explain support for policies targeting an ecological ceiling and a social floor.


  • Transport and Roads
  • Environmental and Energy Systems Studies
  • School of Social Work
  • Social Policy and Sustainability
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year







Sustainability Science



Document type

Journal article




  • Sociology
  • Political Science


  • eco-social policy; public attitudes; sustainable welfare; maximum income; basic income; working time reduction
  • ecological ceiling
  • social floor
  • sustainable welfare
  • ecosocial policies
  • Sweden




  • The New Urban Challenge? Models of Sustainable Welfare in Swedish Metropolitan Cities
  • Sustainable Welfare for a New Generation of Social Policy
  • Postgrowth Welfare Systems


  • ISSN: 1862-4057