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Having grandchildren is known to reduce individuals’ labour supply. However, it is unclear whether there is a negative association between grandchild care provision and employment among grandparents. Moreover, we do not know how the magnitude of any association between the two activities may vary across countries characterised by different child-care policy regimes. Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this paper investigates the association between daily grandchild care provision and two employment outcomes for grandmothers and grandfathers aged 50–69: the probability of being employed and the average weekly working hours. Recursive bivariate models are used to account for the potential selection of grandparents with different unobserved traits into work and family care. Estimates are compared across four country groups characterised by different child-care policy orientations: optional de-familisation, service de-familisation, supported familism and familism by default. On average, across 20 European countries, grandparents looking after grandchildren daily are no less likely to work than grandparents who do not; however, employed grandfathers work eight hours less per week if providing daily child care. Evidence of a negative association between daily grandchild care and employment is strongest in countries with familistic approaches to child care, with no association in countries characterised by optional de-familisation. This suggests that public support to child care may help retain grandparents in the labour force.
Based on data from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), this study examines the extent to which cognitive dissonance regarding egalitarian attitudes toward the gender division of labour are associated with fertility rates in sixteen societies, representing Anglo American, Northern European, Western European and East Asian regimes. The findings show that although levels of support for gender equality in the realms of the family and the market are positively associated with fertility rates, an even stronger relationship to fertility emerges when weighing the differences between the levels of support for gender equality in each realm. The findings lend some corroboration to McDonald’s hypothesis, which suggests that declining fertility rates are influenced by contradictory expectations between gender equality for women in the home and market.
This paper applies modern economic theory to the ownership of enslaved men and women in the labour market context of Santiago, Chile from 1773 to 1810. We calculate the internal rate of return for slaves by gender and age as a way to understand the economic justification of slavery in an urban scenario where free labour was also readily available. Based on archival sources documenting the selling prices for slaves, prevailing wages for free labourers, maintenance costs and life expectancy, we argue that the ownership of enslaved men and women was a consistently profitable activity.
A decade of high economic growth (2003–2013) in Latin America accompanied with high social spending, produced a significant improvement in the living conditions of the region’s population. Household incomes grew, poverty and inequality rates fell, and job opportunities increased. However, beginning in 2013 the economic situation of Latin America experienced a downwards trend. The effects have been felt in reduced income due to the fewer labour opportunities afforded by a decrease in demand and investment, particularly in infrastructure. Moreover, investment in infrastructure has remained stagnant since the late 1990s. The present article is intended as a preliminary study regarding the feasibility of transferring the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to the Latin American region. The paper contends that such a policy transfer could greatly improve the adverse employment conditions affecting large segments of the Latin American rural workforce and contribute to bridge the area’s rural-urban infrastructure gap.
In this article, we describe two experiments measuring the impact of a collection of interventions informed by behavioural sciences to reduce unemployment. In a small-scale pilot study (n = 2,383) run in partnership with a Jobcentre in the UK, we found that small changes to the way jobseekers interacted with employment advisers showed promising effects. Based on these findings, we refined our intervention and tested it in a second, larger trial (n = 88,033) across 12 Jobcentres in the UK. We found that our intervention significantly increased off-flow from benefits. These experiments demonstrate that policies and programmes aimed at reducing unemployment can benefit greatly from a deeper understanding of the behaviours of jobseekers and employment advisers. Further, we suggest that this approach could have positive implications for other areas of public policy.
Free movement has been at the heart of the Brexit debate, with the government grappling between satisfying public and business demands for restrictive and liberal approaches to immigration respectively. In response the government have advocated temporary migration as a potential solution, including an expanded UK-EU Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) modelled on the current T5 YMS on the assumption that YMS migrants undertake low-skilled jobs. Little is known about this visa or the labour market activity of YMS migrants. Drawing on policy analysis alongside survey and interview data from Australian YMS migrants, this paper seeks to bridge some of these knowledge gaps, arguing that an expanded EU YMS will not attract significant EU migrants, and is far from a remedy for free movement ending.
We examine state-level variation in the flow of benefits under the largest Social Security programme – the Old-Age (OA) programme. OA pensions remain a robust and growing component of the American social safety net. Although OA pensions are entirely administered by the federal government, state-level demographic features can imply different aggregate levels of programme expenditures across states. We describe high levels of variation in the resources flowing into states from the OA programme and we find relationships between state features that might seem only remotely related to income support for the elderly: current unemployment rates, previous income levels, poverty rates and minority populations. We find a particularly strong link between current unemployment rates, OA coverage and OA average benefits. The number of recipients and the level of average OA payments increase when unemployment increases. This is a poorly understood but important feature of the OA programme.
This article contributes to the search for suitable approaches to combat social exclusion faced by disabled people in capitalist wage labour markets. Referring to policy and service examples in Hong Kong, it reviews four social exclusion approaches – the Moral Underclass (MUD), Social Integrationist (SID), Redistributive (RED) and Collective Production (COP) approaches. These approaches are explored in relation to three key issues: (1) the diverse preferences of disabled people; (2) the myth of infeasibility regarding unconventional approaches and (3) the defects of the medical model of disability. The article argues that the MUD and SID approaches are more associated with the medical model of disability and emphasise individual changes. The RED and COP approaches contain more features of the social model of disability and are in favour of social and structural changes. The COP approach stresses the diverse preferences of disabled people and supports innovative services to combat social exclusion.
This article analyses the labour market integration of newly arrived immigrants in the UK labour market, based on data from the UK Labour Force Survey. We focus on immigrants who arrived in the United Kingdom since 2000 and distinguish different cohorts based on the year of their arrival in the country. We examine the extent to which these new arrivals were able to enter work and move up into skilled jobs, and analyse the sectors of the economy that have proved most amenable to this progression. The analysis indicates that these new arrivals fared relatively well in the workforce. In part as a result of their relative youth and high education levels, many new arrivals (especially those from the European Union and in particular the EU10 countries) moved straight into work.
Using an institutional perspective, this paper explores coexisting job search methods in reforming China. Analysis of the 2003 Chinese General Social Survey data shows that China's labour markets are segmented into institutional niches by two key factors: the type of ownership of work organization and the status of the work organization in the market. The effectiveness of job search methods varies across the different institutional niches. Hierarchical arrangements and social networks remain powerful means of obtaining jobs in the state sector, including both monopolistic and competitive work organizations, while job searches using a market-oriented method are comparatively useful for winning jobs in the non-state sector irrespective of whether organizations are competitive or monopolistic in terms of market competition. This paper not only illustrates the value of an institutional approach to labour market research but also reveals the scope of market penetration in China's emerging labour markets.
The article examines to what extent culture is a further piece of the puzzle to explain differences in the labour market participation of older people in Europe. This approach is in clear contrast to the existing literature on that topic which is largely economically oriented and more focused on socio-economic determinants. In the first part, different theoretical conceptions regarding the impact of culture on individual actions are discussed with the aim of developing the concept of work–retirement cultures. In the second part, the article gathers empirical evidence on differences in the work–retirement culture in 22 European societies and analyses the interplay between the work–retirement culture and the labour market participation of people aged between 55 and 64 years using logistic random intercept regression analysis. The analysis draws on the third round of the European Social Survey. The results give some clear indications that the work–retirement culture plays its part in explaining differences in the labour market participation of older people in Europe and thus clarifies that the timing of retirement is not fully determined by pension policies. Accordingly, the results of the study illustrate that it is not sufficient to solely change the legal rules for the transition to retirement. Rather, people need to be additionally convinced of the individual benefits of remaining in employment.
Recent theoretical advances in the welfare state literature have outlined the differences between labour market- and life course-related schemes as centre-right parties have difficulties in enacting retrenchment on life course-related schemes because these concern every voter. In contrast, the textbook risk profile of centre-right parties’ electorates allows them to cutback on labour market-related schemes as these parties get negligible support from workers and low-income voters. Conducting a comparative case study of recent Danish and Swedish centre-right governments, this article analyses the stylized assumptions on the party level by comparing two similar centre-right governments, which differed in their voter coalitions’ risk profile. I first argue that centre-right governments are generally constrained by the popular entrenchment of the universal welfare state when it comes to life course-related welfare schemes. Second, I argue that the leeway on labour market-related schemes is contingent on the actual risk profile of the centre-right’s electorate, and thereby move beyond the stylized assumptions from recent literature. In this respect, the Danish centre-right did, in contrast to its Swedish counterpart, gain power with an unusual high support among working-class voters which constrained its latitude on labour market-related schemes. I find that the Danish centre-right governments after 2001 acted with bound hands thanks to its high working-class backing, and refrained from outright cutbacks on both labour market- and life course-related schemes until 2010 except for labour market outsiders. In contrast, the Swedish centre-right had a much lower working-class backing and therefore engaged in some outright cutbacks of labour market-related schemes such as unemployment benefits directly after taking office 2006. The centre-right’s actual voter coalition’s risk profile is thus an important determinant for its public policies and its leeway for policy-seeking.
This article aims to account for why the redistributive effect of the Korean welfare state remains meagre. Given the fact that its small size is already a well-known factor, it directs its attention to the design and structural features of key social provisions and their distributional profile. Its findings suggest that the design features of social provisions are progressive but their distributional profiles are not. This is because there are other factors that undermine the seemingly progressive design of the welfare system in Korea. The article argues that in order to establish a fair and efficient welfare state, it is not only any increase in size that is important but also correction of the factors that diminish the progressivity of the welfare system.
We examine the impact of participation in sport at secondary school on post-school pathways using a survey of Irish school-leavers, distinguishing between those who dropped out of sport during their secondary school years and those who continued playing in their final school years. We find that members of this latter group are, on completion of secondary schooling, significantly and substantially more likely to continue their education rather than to join the labour market. This effect survives controlling for individual background traits, school characteristics, attachment to the school and academic achievement. Our results are also robust to the use of propensity score matching to control for selection into participation in sport based on observable characteristics. We relate our findings to previous work on the potential labour market benefits of participation in sport and to the emerging literature on the role of consumption value in educational choice.
Over the past 30 years governments in Australia introduced a set of policies that have come to be known as microeconomic reform. This chapter provides an overview of main reforms and rationales. It describes a major area of reform, and evidence on specific effects of that reform, roughly in the sequence that the reforms occurred. Political economy has a major role in most accounts of the introduction of microeconomic reform in the 1980s and early 1990s. In particular, several factors assisted the federal Labor government of this period to introduce reforms. The reforms to regulation of the finance sector in Australia had been primarily implemented to improve the capacity to manage the macroeconomy. The chapter discusses agricultural sector, manufacturing industry, government sector, transport sector, communications sector, utilities sector, competition policy and labour market in Australia. Finally, it presents an overall assessment of the effects of microeconomic reform.
Research on anti-immigrant attitudes in the United Kingdom in the past has focused primarily on feelings of prejudice driven by local concentrations of ethnic minorities. The immigration debate, however, has arguably changed since the EU expansions and the economic crisis of the past decade. This paper tests whether public support for immigration restriction is empirically driven by factors such as resource scarcity and economic stagnation, skill supply of native and immigrant workers, and the origin of immigrants from poorer countries within and outside the EU. Survey data from the European Social Survey between 2002 and 2010 are matched with regional level indicators calculated using the UK Labour Force Surveys. Findings suggest that support for immigration restriction is higher in regions where more immigrants are unemployed, but lower in regions where more natives are unemployed for longer than a year. Both the origin and ethnicity of the immigrant population appear to play a role in immigration policy preferences among native respondents.
After a long period of promoting early retirement, European societies have recently started to implement various reforms aimed at fostering a longer working life. Yet cross-national variations in older workers' employment remain, as institutional path dependency, socio-economic climate and persistent retirement culture have not allowed all countries to implement reforms to the same degree. In our paper, we provide an up-to-date international overview of country-specific contexts that support or hinder the employment of older workers in European countries. To this end, we use information on labour market, pension, and welfare policies that affect older workers' employment opportunities and retirement decisions. Adding to previous research, we contrast these “structural” indicators with selected “cultural” evidence from the European Survey data (Eurobarometer, European Social Survey) reflecting recent trends in retirement-related attitudes, perceptions and preferences. The available data allow for an unusually broad geographical scope, encompassing both Western European and Eastern European societies. Using these data, we perform a hierarchical cluster analysis to identify the specific types of “retirement regimes”. Finally, we relate these “new worlds of retirement” to the differentiation of “early” versus “late” exit regimes suggested by earlier literature to identify the forerunners and laggards in the gradual transition towards later retirement in Europe.
In welfare societies, disability pensions or incapacity benefits provide income security to people who, due to health problems or disability, are assessed as being unemployable. However, it is sometimes possible for people on disability pensions to work, for instance on a voluntary basis in and on behalf of associations of disabled people. This article applies perspectives on employability and discusses whether voluntary workers, like representatives of associations of disabled people, could have been employed in the ordinary labour market or whether there are definite characteristics of voluntary work which allow their capacity for work to be utilised.
Food insecurity, lack of access to food due to financial constraints, is highly associated with poor health outcomes. Households dependent on social assistance are at increased risk of experiencing food insecurity, but food insecurity has also been reported in households reporting their main source of income from employment/wages (working households). The objective of the present study was to examine the correlates of food insecurity among households reliant on employment income.
Working households reporting food insecurity were studied through analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2007–2008, employing descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Food insecurity was measured using the Household Food Security Survey Module; all provinces participated.
Canadian households where main income was derived through labour force participation. Social assistance recipients were excluded.
For the period 2007–2008, 4 % of working households reported food insecurity. Canadian households reliant on primary earners with less education and lower incomes were significantly more likely to experience food insecurity; these differences were accentuated across some industry sectors. Residence in Quebec was protective. Working households experiencing food insecurity were more likely to include earners reporting multiples jobs and higher job stress. Visible minority workers with comparable education levels experienced higher rates of food insecurity than European-origin workers.
Reliance on employment income does not eliminate food insecurity for a significant proportion of households, and disproportionately so for households with racialized minority workers. Increases in work stress may increase the susceptibility to poor health outcomes of workers residing in households reporting food insecurity.