Going with the Flow? The Effect of Economic Fluctuation on People’s Solidarity with Unemployed People.

Faculty/Professorship: Sociology, especially Social Inequality 
Author(s): Uunk, Wilfred ; van Oorschot, Wim
Title of the Journal: Social indicators research : an international and interdisciplinary journal for quality-of-life measurement
ISSN: 0303-8300
Publisher Information: Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer Science
Year of publication: 2019
Volume: 143
Issue: 3
Pages: 1129-1146
Language(s): English
Rising levels of unemployment in European welfare states have revived questions on the social protection of the unemployed and the people’s solidarity with this claimant group. Does people’s solidarity with the unemployed—in terms of the welfare benefits they would grant this group—decrease when the economy fares ill and unemployment is on the rise, or does solidarity increase as many more people are at risk of losing their jobs? And, do changes in economic conditions and unemployment affect the solidarity of all social groups alike, or are there differences with people’s socio-economic position? In this study, we address these questions using repeated cross-section data from the Netherlands in the period 1975–2010. Our multilevel analyses show that in times of higher unemployment people’s solidarity with the unemployed is higher, while independently from that, in times of economic downturn solidarity is lower. These macro-level effects vary only little across social groups, yet we do find that the unemployment rate affects people’s solidarity more positively during economic good times. This indicates that people’s solidarity with the unemployed depends, among others, on the specific macro-economic constellation of economic welfare and unemployment.
Keywords: Welfare attitudes · Economic fluctuation · Unemployment · Solidarity
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/45799
Year of publication: 4. July 2019