Conference Agenda

RN01_05a: Social inequalities and social exclusion in older age
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Kathrin Komp-Leukkunen, University of Helsinki
Location: UP.3.204
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road


Social Exclusion and Mental Wellbeing in Older Romanians

Iuliana Precupetu1, Marja Aartsen2, Marian Vasile3

1Research Institute for Quality of Life, Romanian Academy, Romania; 2NOVA Norwegian Social research / Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway; 3Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania

In Romania, after the fall of communism, the many transformations in economic structures and the welfare regimes contributed to a trend of increasing social exclusion, in particular for the older generations. Social exclusion is a multidimensional problem with substantial effects on the mental wellbeing of people. The present study examines age differences in mental wellbeing and evaluates to what extent differences can be explained by age and social exclusion, while controlling for a number of potential confounders. Data are from the fourth wave (2016) of the European Quality of Life Survey. Data for Romania include 1004 people of which 726 are used in the analyses (only complete cases). In the study sample, 254 were older than 55 years. Mental wellbeing was measured with The World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5 scale), and social exclusion was measured on four domains (social relations, material resources, services and the neighborhood) (Walsh et al., 2017). The results show that older Romanians have a statistically significant lower mental wellbeing than younger Romanians. All domains of social exclusion contributed to lower levels of wellbeing. These effects remained significant after controlling for partner status, chronic diseases, having children and level of education. Improving mental wellbeing of older Romanians would greatly benefit from increasing social inclusion by means of social transfers provided by the government, improving the neighborhood and access to services, and providing facilities to enhance the social network.

Reallocation of Resources between Gender and Generations in Ageing Society

Martin Holub, Anna Stastna

Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic

Low fertility and improvements to the health status of the population are the key determinants of population ageing in many countries across Europe. This is especially true for the Czech Republic after two decades of very low fertility regime (TFRs persistently below 1.5) and with an increase in life expectancy at birth for both men (more than 8 years) and women (more than 6 years) since the beginning of the 1990s. Ageing poses relevant questions in terms of the sustainability of national welfare systems, but also in terms of intergenerational relationships and equity. All these issues are at the heart of the challenges contemporary welfare states are faced with.

We employ the European National Transfer Accounts data to improve our understanding of the consequences of population ageing by introducing demographic information into the System of National Accounts. These detailed age- and gender-specific economic data on income, transfers, consumption and saving allows us to study the relationship between age, economic activity and the organization of intergenerational transfers in the Czech Republic. Gender dimension of age reallocations within the market is particularly relevant for the Czech Republic, which shows high female employment rate in general, but records the most significant impact of childbirth on the employment of mothers of all the EU countries and where the gender pay gap remains one of the widest in the EU.

Consequences Of Employment Inequality For Living Condition In Old Age

Tatjana C Mika

German Pension Insurance, Germany

The paper investigates causes for different types of working careers, which have great consequences for the living conditions in old age. More or less secure labour market positions are an important dimension of social inequality. Those who have gained secure stable labour market positions are well protected from labour market turbulences and profit more often from seniority pay. This structure divides older workers into two groups: those who profit from stable employment and those who have a reduced chance to be hired at higher age if they become unemployed (Heywood et al, 2015). Unstable employment has a negative impact on health (Gash et al., 2007) as have disruptions in the career due to lay-offs even if they are not accompanied by income loss (Black et al., 2015).

The paper demonstrates individual pension entitlements from socially employed work according to the pension law for different types of working careers. The German old age security system is based on the principle of equivalence between income during the working career and pension. We observe therefore a high correlation of long time uninterrupted employment and higher acquired pension rights.

The analysis of the causes for the different employment careers requires comprehensive data. The papers uses the German sample of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The German sample offers also SHARE-RV as combined research data from the survey and from the pension insurance records. This survey data in combination with the whole employment career are the basis of the analysis.

Precarious Pathways Into Retirement and New Risks for Gendered Economic Exclusion in Sweden 1990-2015

Andreas Motel-Klingebiel, Susanne Kelfve, Lina Homman

Linkoping University, Sweden

Background: The ability and disposition of ageing people to maintain their labour market activity and/or to retire from work structurally depend on pension systems, activation policies, ageism, changing for labor demand and economic shifts. Structural conditions are changing and most societies may in the long run and on average benefit from them – or not. But social change does not mature homogeneously and neither do the institutional shifts induced by it. Gains in opportunities and resources do not benefit all people, groups and even societies in the same way. Changes increase insecurities and life course inhomogeneity, create unequally distributed challenges and show asynchrony in shifts and outcomes. They generate new precarity in ageing and socially structured risks for exclusion in work and retirement and refer to existing later life inequalities by cohort, gender, region, education, class and ethnicity.

Aim and data: From this perspective of ageing and social change, the paper deals with shifts in late work and retirement patterns and later-life outcomes under changing institutional conditions, focusing on gendered risks for economic exclusion and later life precarity in Sweden. Swedish registry data comprising individual work and health histories as well as employer, regional and neighborhood information on the total population 50+ ever living in Sweden 1990-2015 is used in a cohort sequential perspective. Analyses focus on gender inequalities and concentrate on occupational activities, retirement transitions and pension revenues under changing social conditions.

Results: Models find increasingly heterogeneous pre-retirement and transition patterns, new gender gaps and increasing risks of economic exclusion in retirement with disadvantaged groups as forerunners in overall relative declines in later-life economic positions.