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ESRA 2023 Glance Program

All time references are in CEST

Survey research on work, labor market and welfare 1

Session Organiser Mr Felix Bitterer (Bielefeld University)
TimeThursday 20 July, 09:00 - 10:30
Room U6-20

This session showcases results of survey research that concentrate on work, labour market and welfare. The focus lies on the interaction between society, work life and individuals. For this purpose, the session will include studies on particular societies as well as cross country-comparisons to participate in the recent societal and scientific discourses.
We will discuss how opinions on welfare in different countries affect individuals’ working life. For example, this session showcases research on the gendered division of labour and a study on the public expectations about the role of the welfare state, both as cross country-comparisons.
Furthermore, this session presents results on questions how societal events affect the working conditions and individuals’ attitudes. In this context, results on work-related changes during the COVID-19 pandemic in the EU and on the perception of economic fairness in Northern Ireland in times of Brexit, COVID-19 and instability of political leadership will be presented.
Moreover, we will discuss the significance of individual skills and attitudes for the working world. The session showcases research on improving the measurement of informal work in El Salvador and a study on the importance of political values on the decision to work in public service in Germany. In addition, a study about the cognitive abilities and financial literacy among tribal street workers in North-East India and research on the motivation of people who continue working after retirement age in Israel will be presented.

Keywords: attitudes towards welfare, labor market, work


The importance of political values on the decision to work in public service

Mr Felix Bitterer (Bielefeld University) - Presenting Author
Professor Martin Kroh (Bielefeld University)
Professor Simon Kühne (Bielefeld University)

Institutional discrimination arouses public and scientific interest in many societies including the US and Europe. In this regard, investigating the determinants of political values in public service employees is a crucial aspect since discriminatory behavior is typically embedded in related values and attitudes. Our study investigates whether certain political values affect the decision to work in public service (such as police, army, or customs). In sociological theory, career choices depend on different sociodemographic and socio-cultural factors, especially the role of the parents. Besides material resources (e.g., income), ideological resources such as knowledge, attitudes, and values are provided by the family, for example via parental occupations serving as role models. To this end, the political values of young adults, their parents, and their connection with career choices have not been investigated sufficiently. Our analyses draw on the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), an annual survey of approx. 15,000 households and 30,000 individuals in Germany running since 1984. Based on 749.839 observations of 105.068 individuals in 57.804 households across the years 1984 to 2020, we apply multilevel and longitudinal statistical methods to study the influence of political values for career aspirations. Political values are available for both young adults and their parents and include, for instance, Locus of Control or attitudes towards social inequality.

What Motivates People to Continue Working After Retirement Age?

Professor Aviad Tur-Sinai (The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College) - Presenting Author
Professor Shosh Shahrabani (The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College)
Professor Ariela Lowenstein (University of Haifa)
Professor Ruth Katz (The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College)
Dr Dafna Halperin (The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College)

Increased life expectancy and need to assure the standard of living of elders’ decisions on whether to continue working after they reach official retirement age, are an important topic of discussion. The purpose of this study is to investigate the phenomenon of working at advanced age—and, specifically, to profile main economic and social factors that correspond to decisions of elders who have reached retirement age to continue working. Also, to identify factors that encourage or deter them from working after that age, such as financial wherewithal, health status, family-related matters, and attitudes toward working in advanced age.
The study used a telephone survey among a representative sample of 950 Israelis who have passed official retirement age—some continuing to work uninterruptedly and others retired when reaching official retirement age in Israel. The statistical data are subjected to probability regressions and structural equation analyses to predict continued employment after official retirement age, on the basis of data about elders’ financial wherewithal, health status, attitudes toward work, and social-network characteristics.
The likelihood of continuing work uninterruptedly after retirement age is higher among Jews (vs. Arabs), among self-employed, and lower among men. Financial wherewithal, need to assist financially a relative, and health status are explanatory factors for continued uninterrupted employment after retirement age, in comparison with retirees who did not wish to leave the labor force. Fear of an empty life after retirement and a sense of relevance for the labor market are explanatory factors for continued uninterrupted employment in comparison with those who wished to retire. Relevance of labor-market credentials, attitude, and social network are mediating factors.
We recommend the introduction of programs that will encourage people to postpone retirement and adjustment of workplace conditions, so that aging individuals can continue to contribute to the labor force.

Work-related changes during COVID-19 Exploring longitudinal data from the European Working Conditions Survey

Mr Franz Eiffe (Eurofound)
Ms Eleonora Peruffo (Eurofound)
Ms Barbora Mackova (Eurofound) - Presenting Author

When the data collection of the 7th European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) was stopped due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurofound started preparing the 2021 European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS). The interrupted survey gave Eurofound the opportunity to carry out an experiment: to re-contact respondents from the discontinued 7th EWCS for the new data collection and repeat the questions in the consecutive year creating a panel data set. Although the final sample size was small, it gave Eurofound the option to carry out panel analysis on these data.
In this paper, we explore the potential of the EWCS follow-up survey to monitor changes in job quality in the EU and how they are associated with other changes in structural characteristics such as changes in working from home, job changes and in wellbeing and engagement. Using advanced statistical methods, we analyse the magnitude of changes and the direction of changes apparent in the data considering the methodological constraints of low case numbers, mode effects and coverage.
After an introduction into the methodology of the data collection, we profile the sample achieved against the LFS. Next, we explore changes in household composition, jobs, place of work before we discuss change in six job quality dimensions and working life outcomes (health, wellbeing and engagement). Next we examine simultaneous changes in job quality and other outcome variables before we apply a multivariate model predicting changes in job quality with structural variables and changes in working life outcomes. Two types of changes are explored in this model: net changes (improvements/deteriorations) and gross change (overall turnover).