Deservingness Perceptions during Times of Crisis: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Switzerland

04.05.2021 - 15:30 to 17:00
Location : 
Online via Zoom
Type of Event : 
AB A-Kolloquium
Prof. Flavia Fossati
Lecturer affiliation: 
UNIL Université de Lausanne

The Zoom link can be requested at colloquia-a [at]

Who should get welfare state support, when, and why, are pivotal questions in public opinion research. As a large body of literature shows, citizens are hardly ever willing to grant support to others completely unconditionally. Rather, in non-punctuated times, there is an established set of criteria that has been shown to matter when the public is asked to make deservingness judgments. Research by van Oorschot (2002) and his group shows that the so-called CARIN criteria (Control, Attitude, Risk, Identity and Need) are important determinants of whether a welfare beneficiary is considered to be deserving of help or not.

Against the backdrop of an almost unprecedented situation like the recent COVID pandemic, the question is whether access to crucial support measures, such as health care services (e.g., intensive care units) and economic support (e.g., schemes for the self-employed), is awarded according to the CARIN criteria or if the public adapts their heuristic. In this talk we will explore what criteria Swiss residents apply when making deservingness decisions during the first and second wave of the pandemic by means of several survey experiments.