Conference Agenda

RN14_08: Policy Practices
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Ana Maria Lopez-Narbona, University of Malaga
Location: UP.4.211
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Fourth Floor Oxford Road

Session Abstract

How gender neutral policies become important in shaping gendered positions against the welfare state.


Gender Aspects of Welfare Receipt in Germany: Determinants, Exit Routes and Recidivism

Torsten Lietzmann, Katrin Hohmeyer

Institute for Employment Research, Germany

The German system of basic income support for needy individuals capable of working (“unemployment benefit II”) aims at bringing the jobless back into work through job-search requirements and activation measures. Official statistics report substantial gender differences in reintegration rates: while about 30 percent of male recipients realise an employment integration, this holds for only 20 percent of female recipients.

Despite the focus on employment integration, the benefit system is designed as a means-tested minimum income household benefit not only for unemployed individuals but for all individuals capable of working and their households. Therefore, important recipient groups are not only unemployed individuals but also low-wage or part-time workers, single parents, larger families and older individuals with health restrictions. Gender differences in benefit receipt and employment integration can be caused by intra-household division of labour, care responsibilities or gender-specific activation and labour market structures.

We analyse individual benefit recipients’ chances to exit from benefit receipt and recidivism with special attention paid to the routes that take recipients out of benefit receipt (with or without own employment) and gender differences. We use rich administrative data on benefit recipients (“Sample of Integrated Welfare Benefit Biographies”) to estimate hazard rate models for competing risks and that control for unobserved heterogeneity for exits from benefit receipt and the probabilities to return to benefit receipt. First results suggest that women leave benefit receipt slower than men with own employment but more often without own employment while there are no differences for returns to benefit receipt. The presence of a partner and children influence the exit-processes differently for men and women.

Explaining Policy Preferences: Women And Coalitions In The Labour Market

Lorenzo Cattani

University of Bologna, Italy

Gender is said to be an important predictor of policy preferences. Women should favour “investment policies” over “consumption policies” due to their more fragmented professional careers (Beramendi et al. 2016). Concerning labour market policies, women prefer active labour market policies (ALMPs) over passive labour market policies. With rising levels of female employment this could lead to higher spending for ALMPs due to a different structure of policy demand. However, among advanced capitalist economies there are no signs of convergence in terms of spending levels for ALMPs and important differences are still visible. These differences reproduce those between models of capitalism (Esping-Andersen 1990; Burroni 2016).

While recent work focused on changes in the overall female employment rate across countries, little attention has been paid to the distribution of female participation among different professional groups. Beramendi et al. (2016) analyse how professional groups’ preferences for investment, consumption and weak or strong state intervention contribute to the creation of hegemonic coalitions that shape policy demand. However, no quantitative studies have been made to test their theoretical framework.

This paper tries to explain why these differences still exist by providing data on how female employment has spread over professional groups. The paper will present evidence from EU-LFS micro-data on Italy and Sweden and it will show how women are more integrated inside the hegemonic coalition in Sweden than in Italy. It will also suggest the importance of female political mobilization as a variable to understand these differences in the future.

Single Parent Mothers - Abandoned And Controlled; A Comparative Intersectional Study Of The Impact of State Welfare and Employment Policies In The UK And Sweden.

Susan Eileen Cohen1, Tove Samzelius2

1University of Bristol, United Kingdom; 2Malmö University

Whereas single parents in the UK in the late 20th century endured high rates of unemployment and poverty, effectively abandoned by the State, those in Sweden experienced the reverse. Many working on gender mainstreaming looked to Sweden for models of parent/care employment and welfare policies to effect structural change. Now however, both countries have experienced significant shifts. Under austerity in the UK single parents are more likely to be employed, yet trapped within a pernicious intersection of welfare and employment policies leaving families vulnerable to deprivation, so regulated and controlled they have little time to care for children. Those not in employment, are more likely to be sanctioned and made homeless, especially those with children under five.

Now new patterns are emerging in Sweden in an increasingly unequal society. Since the late 1990’s fiscal crisis, and in spite of a history of gender equality policies, inequalities between single and dual-parent families have increased. Policies assume a ‘dual earner/dual carer family model’, with an ever-increasing blind spot to social and economic constraints experienced by single parents, especially new migrants. Swedish research studies now identify single mothers as disadvantaged, insufficiently safeguarded by the welfare system. Migrant single mothers are the most marginalized, abandoned on benefits for long periods of time, particularly vulnerable to absolute poverty.

The impact of persistent intersectional inequalities by reason of class, gender and ethnicity places single parents on the margins in both Sweden and the UK. This paper considers how gender mainstreaming can, and must address intersectional discriminations.

Women In Science. Research Collaboration In Italian Academia From A Gender Perspective.

Elisa Bellotti1, Dominika Czerniawska-Szejda1, Luigi Guadalupi2

1University of Manchester; 2IRAT CNR

The paper analyses and compares the networks of scientific collaborations of male and female scientists in the local system of public funding in Italian Academia. In specific, we look at 10 years (2001 – 2010) of the Italian Ministry of University and Research funding of Projects of National Interest (Prin) in all disciplines. In this dataset we observe the percentage of men and women funded in each discipline (over the total number of male and female appointed in Italian Universities), their academic ranks (full professor, associate professor, researcher), and their geographical location (North, Centre, South of Italy). We then select the top funded men and women across all disciplines and compare their collaboration networks, to see if women adopt different network strategies to their male counterparts. Previous studies suggest that women should have more constrained and hierarchical networks then men, while men are supposed to be more efficient and homophilous. Results show that while there is no significant difference in the structure of collaboration networks between male and female, men significantly prefer to work with other men in all the disciplines under analysis. Together with the finding that women are still under-represented in Italian Academia, that they occupy less prestigious roles and overall receive less money than male scientists, our results pose serious questions to the structure and organization of Italian academic system, where gender barriers are still very much in place, and men exclude women from scientific research either deliberately for strategic reasons, or unconsciously for stereotyped biases.