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Accumulation or absorption? Changing disparities of household non-employment in Europe during the Great Recession

Biegert, Thomas ORCID: 0000-0001-5437-2561 and Ebbinghaus, Bernhard (2020) Accumulation or absorption? Changing disparities of household non-employment in Europe during the Great Recession. Socio-Economic Review. pp. 1-28. ISSN 1475-1461

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ser/mwaa003


This comparative study analyzes the impact of the Great Recession on household non-employment across Europe since 2008. We use the EU-SILC (2007–2014) for a shift-share analysis that decomposes annual variations in household non-employment in 30 European countries. Investigating whether job loss is absorbed by or accumulated in households, we break down non-employment variations into changes in individual non-employment, household compositions and polarization. We find that household joblessness increased since 2008, especially in crisis-ridden countries. There is no evidence for the widespread absorption of individual non-employment in families or multi-person households. Instead, household dynamics and unequal distribution of non-employment lead to further risk accumulation within households during the crisis. Surprisingly, this pattern occurs in those crisis-ridden countries known for their traditional household structures and less accommodating welfare systems, which have relied thus far on families to absorb employment risks. The Great Recession has aggravated household disparities in joblessness in Europe.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020 M1 - mwaa003
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D10 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I38 - Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J21 - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 13:27
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 03:57

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