In search of associations between household structures and economic conditions in Europe

Elisabetta Santarelli, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Anna De Pascale, University of Rome

The interest on economic conditions in European countries has been steadily increasing over the last decades. The concept of economic conditions (or status) is wide and multidimensional: it encompasses employment situation, available income, possess or lack of resources, material conditions, housing, poverty and life standards. Economic conditions are interesting in terms of their relationship with household structure and a large literature has been devoted to such topic at a European level. Empirical evidence show that the relationship between household structures and economic conditions is actually complex, suggesting that such link is mediated by institutions with parental leave arrangements, childcare services, monetary benefits for large families or care services for old people. The aim of this work is to study associations between household structures and economic conditions in Europe in order to understand the pattern of economic resources available to different types of households and how such resources vary by households structure. To take into account the context where individuals and households live, our analyses are carried out in a comparative perspective and based on data from EU-SILC 2008. We carry out a comparative analysis of EU Member States by means of Principal Component Analysis (PCA), since we aim to obtain a synthetic picture of the associative patterns between household structure and economic status. Indicators on economic conditions (education, job, income, possession of items, housing status, affordability of some basic goods) and households structure are projected on the factorial plan as active variables. We aim at verifying whether, and to what extent, the clustering of the countries, with respect to their economic and households’ characteristics, can be recognized as the Esping Andersen’s classification of welfare regimes.

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Presented in Poster Session 3