Unpacking a basic income scheme: Is support based on values or due to demographic characteristics?
Oostrum, S.E. van
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Background. The idea of introducing a basic income scheme has been debated for decades. Studies showed that public opinion is important for the implementation of welfare state programs. This study examines whether values and demographic characteristics are determinants of support for a basic income scheme. Research question. What is the influence of values and demographic characteristics on the support for a basic income scheme and its characteristics? Method. This research is based on data from the European Social Survey (ESS), round 8 in The Netherlands (N=1681). Multiple regressions are performed to assess if the values self-direction, universal protection, benevolence and security and the demographic characteristics gender, education, employment and household income influence support for a basic income scheme. Because a basic income scheme is not yet an unambiguously defined and implemented welfare state program, two characters of a basic income scheme have also been included: universal and unconditional. Results. Individuals who value self-direction and security are likely to support a basic income scheme. However, individuals who value universal protection are not likely to support a basic income scheme. In addition, individuals with a low income and without paid work are more likely to support a basic income scheme than individuals with a high income and with paid work. Also, highly educated individuals are more likely to support a basic income scheme than individuals that enjoyed a lower education. Conclusion. Some values and demographic characteristics have influence on the support for a basic income scheme. Including the characteristics of a basic income scheme was more complex than expected and showed only some similarities with the support for a basic income scheme. This is the first study about the determinants of support for a basic income scheme. It lays the foundation for further research, where it is recommended to use more specified data concerning a basic income scheme.