Popular criteria for the welfare deservingness of disability pensioners: The influence of structural and cultural factors

M.D. Jeene, W.J.H. van Oorschot, W.J.G. Uunk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research has shown that several criteria underlie people’s opinions about the welfare deservingness of benefit recipients. However, it remains unknown which factors are associated with the emphasis that people place on such criteria. Using a 2006 Dutch national survey on the welfare deservingness of disability pension recipients, we study the influence of structural and cultural factors on people’s emphasis on three deservingness criteria: control, need, and reciprocity. OLS regression analyses show that people’s emphasis on specific deservingness criteria is strengthened by structural factors that indicate the possibility of resource competition such as the following: age, lower levels of education, unemployment, and lower income. However, actual personal experience with receiving welfare benefits weakens criteria emphasis. Cultural factors such as the espousal of views from the political right and the possession of a strong work ethic are associated with a heightened emphasis on deservingness criteria.
Keywords: Deservingness, Disability, Opinion, Welfare
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1117
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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