Journal Article

Welfare regime variation in the impact of the Great Recession on deprivation levels: A dynamic perspective on polarisation vs convergence for social risk groups, 2005–2014

May 21, 2021

Journal of Social Policy, Vol. 17, No. 3

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This paper investigates changes over the period 2005 to 2014 in material deprivation dynamics of social risk groups in 11 European countries covering a range of welfare regimes. The period covered experienced dramatic economic change, encompassing periods of boom, the Great Recession and early recovery. Social risk groups are defined as groups which differ in the challenges that they face in converting resources into desired outcomes. The comparative element of the paper allows us to assess whether certain welfare regimes were better at protecting more vulnerable groups. Results, based on the longitudinal component of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions and on analysis of deprivation dynamics between pairs of years, showed large inequality between groups in the risk of persistent deprivation – with lone parents and people with disability most at risk in all countries. Variation across welfare regimes was restricted to the contrast between the liberal and the remaining regimes. Countries belonging to the former regime (UK and Ireland) were distinctive in showing the largest social risk gap in persistent deprivation and were the only ones which experienced substantial polarisation between groups with the Great Recession.