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Unemployment, well-being, and the moderating role of education policies: A multilevel study
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0199-0435
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. University of Bamberg, Germany.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Comparative Sociology, ISSN 0020-7152, E-ISSN 1745-2554, Vol. 60, no 4, p. 269-291Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to investigate if education policies moderate the association between unemployment and well-being among young adults. Based on the capability approach, we argue that education policies mitigate the negative effects of unemployment by providing opportunities for education and thus ways to exit unemployment. Education policies can strengthen capabilities, enhance the control that individuals have over their situation, and thereby reduce the stress associated with unemployment. We estimated cross-level interactions between education policies and unemployment status using multilevel methods and data from the European Social Survey. Results showed that policies that increase educational opportunities—such as generous second chance opportunities—were associated with smaller negative effects of unemployment on well-being and that this moderating impact was stronger for young adults with low education. Further analyses show that education policies are also associated with perceived capabilities among unemployed, supporting the proposed mechanism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019. Vol. 60, no 4, p. 269-291
Keywords [en]
Capabilities, education policies, spillover effects, unemployment, well-being, young adults
National Category
Sociology Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162919DOI: 10.1177/0020715219874386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162919DiVA, id: diva2:1347707
Available from: 2019-09-02 Created: 2019-09-02 Last updated: 2019-10-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Vulnerability and inequalities in health and wellbeing: the role of social policy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vulnerability and inequalities in health and wellbeing: the role of social policy
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the moderating role of social policies for the association between vulnerable social positions and health and wellbeing. Vulnerable social positions are identified in relation to age-related transition points in to or out of the labour market. Specifically, the focal groups are young adults, on the route to establish themselves in the labour market, and older persons, having just left the labour market, and inequalities by labour market status, class, or gender within these age groups. The thesis moreover aims to contribute to the theoretical development of the comparative health literature, by developing and implementing a theoretical framework for analyzing the role of social policy for the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups.

Data and methods: The aim is addressed through a cross-country comparative approach, by fitting multilevel regression models on harmonized individual level data from the European Social Survey. Specifically, cross-level interactions between social position and social policies are estimated, with self-reported general health and psychological wellbeing as outcomes. The focal social policies are pension systems and elderly care policies, as well as education policies.

Results and conclusions: Overall, the empirical results showed that public investment in, and public organization of, elderly care was associated with smaller health inequalities by both social class and gender, and that redistributive minimum pensions were associated with smaller inequalities by social class, while more status-maintaining standard pensions were associated with larger gender-based inequalities. Regarding the role of education policies, the analyses showed that inclusive policies – specifically low degree of tracking, generous second chance opportunities, low out-of-pocket costs for, and a larger supply of, education – were associated with smaller inequalities by both social background and employment status. The overall conclusion of the thesis is that redistributive social policies, which distribute essential resources to vulnerable groups, have the potential to reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing between vulnerable and more advantaged groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2019. p. 101
Series
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X ; 94
Keywords
Social policy, Welfare state, Vulnerability, Inequality, Social stratification, Health, Wellbeing
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162921 (URN)978-91-7855-089-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-27, S Hörsal 205, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-09-02 Last updated: 2019-09-03Bibliographically approved

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Högberg, BjörnVossemer, JonasStrandh, Mattias

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