English title: What determines subjective socio-economic insecurity? Context and class in comparative perspective

Author(s): Steffen Mau - Jan Mewes - Nadine M. Schöneck -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2012


The phenomenon of socio-economic insecurity is widely discussed in contemporary public and academic discourse. However, it is unclear how objective socio-economic and institutional conditions affect subjective feelings of insecurity. Based on a review of the relevant literature, we hypothesize that objective contextual factors of labour market characteristics, levels of social protection and levels of internationalization and globalization exacerbate or mitigate subjective feelings of insecurity. We derive and test specific hypotheses using data from the fourth round of the European Social Survey (fielded 2008/2009). Based on our multilevel analysis of 18 412 individuals in 19 countries, we find that socio-economic (GDP) and institutional (welfare state effort) factors are relevant to subjective socio-economic insecurity, whereas the degree of internationalization (economic globalization, share of foreign-born population) plays a surprisingly negligible role. Moreover, significant cross-level interactions among social class and income inequality, unemployment, labour market regulation and economic globalization indicate that these country-level factors have a class-specific impact.

Volume: 10

Issue: 4

From page no: 655

To page no: 682

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/SER/MWS001

Journal: Socio-Economic Review

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