The dynamics of welfare opinions in changing economic, institutional and political contexts: An empirical analysis of Dutch deservingness opinions, 1975–2006

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Long-term trends in deservingness opinions and how these fluctuate in relation to changes in the economic, institutional and political contexts have not often been examined. In this paper, we address these trend questions by analyzing 22 waves of the repeated cross-sectional Cultural Change in The Netherlands (CCN, 1975–2006) survey. Our analyses show fairly stable public deservingness opinions regarding five different needy groups over the long term. Over the short term, opinions fluctuate more. Explanatory analyses show that economic and political factors, but not institutional factors, are especially influential over fluctuations in opinions. When real GDP grows, the Dutch public is more likely to consider the disabled, the elderly and social assistance beneficiaries deserving of more welfare support. In addition, when unemployment rises, the unemployed and social assistance beneficiaries are more likely to be seen as deserving of more support. Finally, when the national political climate is more leftist, most needy groups are considered to be deserving of more welfare support.
Keywords: Deservingness, Opinion, Trend analysis, Social security, Welfare
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-749
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume115
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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