Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
RN09_02: Economic Sociology and Social and Economic Inequality II
Time:
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Alberto Veira-Ramos, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Session Chair: Sebastian Koos, University of Konstanz
Location: BS.3.16
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Presentations

The Effects of Debt on Subjective Well-Being

Caroline Henchoz1, Tristan Coste1, Boris Wernli2

1University of Fribourg, Switzerland; 2FORS (Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences), University of Lausanne, Switzerland

The consequences of debt, particularly in terms of subjective well-being (SWB), remain little studied in Switzerland and elsewhere in Europe. Yet it is a socially relevant question. The subjective perception of the economic situation is indeed considered as an indicator to identify situations of over-indebtedness. In addition, the effects of a difficult financial situation on well-being do not only concern the family and individuals but can have wider consequences (productivity and absenteeism for example)

We will use data from the SHP, a multi-thematic Swiss longitudinal survey, to monitor other parameters that have an influence on the SWB and to study the issue in a causal perspective over the long term.

We include 3 indicators of debt: arrears, monthly payments for a credit and assessment of household income and expenses and 2 dimensions of SWB : evaluative (life satisfaction in general) and affective (negative and positive feelings).

Our analyses are conducted using longitudinal fixed-effect models. In addition to the effect of the three debt indicators mentioned above and an overall assessment of household income and expenditure, our analyses are controlled by different parameters (gender, age, education, etc.). The introduction of time-invariant variables, normally ignored in fixed-effect models, will be achieved by integrating interaction terms, or separate models for certain social and demographic categories.

Our longitudinal analyses show that the various debt indicators do have a negative effect on SWB, especially for the lowest income groups. It is the arrears of payments that have the most unfavourable impact, which attests to the different consequences of indebtedness. Finally, debt has the largest impact on overall life satisfaction, while the emotional aspects of SWB are less impacted.



Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Spain by Social Class and Education, Before, During and After the 2008 Crisis.

Juan Vicente Castellanos Quintana2, Alberto Veira-Ramos1

1UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DE EDUCACIÓN A DISTANCIA; 2Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

The Financial Survey of Families is carried out every three years by the Bank of Spain. In a sample of more than 6,000 households, information is collected about the sources of income, financial and real estate assets and debts of each member of the selected households.

An analysis of this database from 2002 to 2017 has allowed us to observe the evolution of the wealth of Spanish households according to the social class of the two heads of family; before, during and after the crisis. We have also been able to pay attention to intra-class differences between people with different levels of education. Particularly interesting has been the monitoring of Spanish workers with professional training, a minority group in Spain, although very important in other European countries. We have also paid attention to the differences within the group of university graduates, between those who obtained a degree in humanities or social sciences and those who obtained a degree in hard sciences. All this has allowed us to observe the differences in wealth and income that occur between these categories of workers during a time of economic prosperity and another of crisis. Likewise, we have also been able to observe which groups are benefiting most rapidly from the incipient process of economic recovery.



Attitudes Towards Inequality Of The Top 10% Of Income Earners In Four European Countries

Marcos Gonzalez Hernando

Think tank for Action on Social Change (TASC), United Kingdom

As many have noted, for the past decades inequality has been on the rise across Western countries. This has been particularly the case after the 2008 global financial crash. According to the OECD, although the real income of the bottom 90% of households has all but stagnated since 2008, that of the top 10% have grown exponentially. Furthermore, that top 10% has accrued most of the benefits of economic growth since 2008.

Previous research has also shown that the policy preferences of the top 10% are more likely to coincide with official policy than those of the rest of the population. Given this backdrop, it is important to understand the social characteristics and attitudes of that segment of society, as doing so has important implications for policymaking. After all, this group is perhaps the most likely to seek to maintain inequality, or even increase it.

This paper presents some preliminary findings of an international research project that undertakes a comparative analysis of the composition and attitudes towards inequality and redistributive policies of the richest 10% of the population across Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. In cooperation with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and a host of local think tanks, this research – and drawing from in-depth interviews (30 per country) and statistical analysis (EU-SILC/LFS, ESS) – the ultimate aim of this project is to devising policy recommendations at a national and European level that this segment of the population might be able to support, or at least be less likely to overtly oppose.



 
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