Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN21_09: New Directions in the cross-national measurement of quality of life
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Wolfgang Aschauer, University of Salzburg
Location: GM.326
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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Comparing The Measurement Of Subjective Health Related Quality Of Life Between Migrant And Native Populations

Jochen Mayerl1, Manuel Michael Holz2

1Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany; 2Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany

Assuming that mass migration to post-industrial countries inhibits specific selection mechanisms, it could be shown that migration happens overly proportional into the lower social strata. This social structure determines available resources and therefore the probability of typical experiences which in turn translate into varying perceptions of well-being. The subjective experience of well-being and quality of life is either way structured along dimensions of culture, time-varying effects, macroscale changes in attitudes and epistemes concerning indicators about the individual assessment of functioning. Empirical evidence suggests dependant on the region of origin migrants tend to extreme or centred self-evaluation. Therefore, the question arises whether comparability of outcomes can be assumed, especially within instruments regarding subjective feelings, when comparing migrant and native populations.

The aim of the study is testing for intercultural and longitudinal equivalence of health related quality of life in form of the Health Short Form 12 - items scale (SF -12), trying to answer the question whether this instrument is useful to compare subjective assessments of health of migrants and native Germans over time. The study contributes to the ongoing discussion on measurement equivalence of the SF -12 by including variables concerning integration and assimilation, employment, family status and varying types of migration and years since migration to the analysis.

Using a Multiple Group Structural Equation Modelling approach analyzing longitudinal data of the German Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP), we test the validity and measurement equivalence (configural, metric and scalar invariance) of the latent construct ‘health’ over time and between (non-)migration groups. The study concludes in recommending a reduced version of the SF-12 to improve the avoidance of measurement artefacts when comparing the health of migrants and native Germans.

Operationalization of Sen’s Capability Approach to Quality of Life Assessment within Eurostat Recent Recommendations: Case of Poland

Jan Zwierzchowski, Tomasz Panek

Warsaw School of Economics, Poland

Improving quality of life (QoL) is the overriding goal of social and economic policies. In the last two decades the increase in quality of life has become one of the main objectives of social policy within the EU. Within the European Statistical System, a general concept of measuring the QoL has been presented in an expert report. The report defines the dimensions and partial indices measuring various aspects of the QoL.

The study provides operationalization of the QoL measurement based on the Eurostat recommendations. It utilises the Sen’s capabilities approach, which enables taking into account the different ways of achieving high QoL among differing individuals (different ways of functioning) caused by their individual characteristics and differences in the local conditions in which they live. This way, it is possible to compare the QoL of individuals living in different regions, countries, etc. The operationalization of the QoL measurement was conducted using a special case of the structural equation model (SEM), namely the multi indicators and multiple causes model (MIMIC). In this model the Eurostat dimensions of QoL were treated as latent variables, the partial indicators of QoL as symptoms and the individuals’ demographic characteristics as causes.

The basis for the empirical part of the study was data from EU-SILC Survey conducted in 2015 for Poland. We have estimated the quality of life values for all individuals in the database. This has enabled us to compare quality of life across regions and social strata.

Keywords: quality of life, capability approach, SEM, MIMIC.

Well-Being Global Index: Assays of multivariate statistical approaches

Maria do Carmo Botelho1, Rosário Mauritti1, Nuno Nunes1, Daniela Craveiro2,3

1CIES-IUL, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal; 2CIS-IUL, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal; 3SOCIUS-UL, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

All over the world, populations with fewer resources have worse life chances, health and well-being. The unequal distribution of resources and their consequences in well-being is a current discussion, with growing importance (UN, 2015, OECD, 2015, Stiglitz et al, 2018a and 2018b), as well as the search for informative and analytical elements for greater reflexivity and social intervention capacity (Mauritti et al., 2016, Botelho et al., 2018, Wilkinson and Pickett, 2018). In Europe and particularly in Portugal, where there are great disparities, the construction and improvement of tools for analysing the relationship between social inequalities and well-being is essential. This presentation is part of an ongoing research project on the relationship between welfare and social inequalities in Europe that have two main objectives: (i) to present dimensions and indicators of well-being perceptions; (ii) and discuss different quantitative methodologies for the construction of a global and integrated well-being index. The well-being approach is based on the multidimensional concept developed by the OECD through the Better Life Initiative (OECD 2013, 2015, 2017). This model is starting to have an impact on how states and reference entities assess the progress of societies. This guidance also includes the work of EUROSTAT (Eurostat, 2017) or other more recent approaches, focusing on the perspective of justice and social progress (Stiglitz et al, 2018a and 2018b). Our quantitative methods support an innovative research line because it analyses the microdata of the European Social Survey (year 2016), aiming to portray the global perceptions of well-being of the Europeans.