Ongelijkheid en zelfrespect: het effect van inkomen en arbeidspositie

Wielers, R., van der Meer, P. & Willems, M., 5-Jul-2018, In : Tijdschrift voor Arbeidsvraagstukken. 34, 2, p. 221-237 17 p.

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In this article, we focus on the effect of income on self-esteem. Sociological literature on meritocracy suggests relatively strong effects of income on self-esteem, but the empirical literature shows hardly any effect. To explain this lack of strong effects, we suggest that the effect of income is dependent on work status. We argue that the self-esteem of work statuses within the labor market, such as being an employee or self-employed, is sensitive to income, whereas work statuses outside the labor market are not. We test this argument on the LISS panel data, using multilevel models. The results show that the self-esteem of work statuses within the labor market is higher than that of unemployed workers, disabled workers, homemakers and pensioners. In addition, we show that the self-esteem of employees, the self-employed and disabled workers is dependent on income, whereas that of unemployed workers, homemakers and pensioners is not. We conclude that participation in the labor market has a relatively strong effect on self-esteem, and that income effects are dependent on work status.
Translated title of the contributionInequality and self-esteem: The effects of income and work status
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)221-237
Number of pages17
JournalTijdschrift voor Arbeidsvraagstukken
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5-Jul-2018


  • self-respect, work status, Income, Inequality

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