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Why pay for social security?


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  • Oorschot, W.J.H. van

    (Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre)

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    With regard to the legitimacy of welfare empirical evidence tends to defy pessimistic theories. Here this puzzling contradiction between facts and theory is seen as a result of insufficient understanding of people's motivations to support welfare. For improving such understanding an empirical instrument is developed and applied for measuring directly the various motivations people may have to pay for social security schemes. Four types of motivation are deduced from sociological theories on solidarity: perceived self-interest, moral obligation, affection and identification with others, and accepted authority. In a national survey among the Dutch adult population in 1995 respondents were asked to what degree the first three motives apply in their case. The main conclusions are that a large majority of the Dutch is motivated to pay for welfare on several grounds at the same time; the motive of self-interest plays the most important role, followed by moral obligations and then affection; older people, men and the highest educated are more strongly motivated to contribute to welfare, while welfare use and income level only have a modest influence; the main patterns can be understood from the encompassing character of the Dutch welfare

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre in its series WORC Paper with number 00.05.02.

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    Date of creation: 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubwor:200000.05.02

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    Keywords: social security; motivation;


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