Social Indicators Research

, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 443–464 | Cite as

Cumulative Disadvantage and Connections Between Welfare Problems

  • Miia BaskEmail author


In this paper, we perform a latent class factor analysis of a panel that involves two waves of data from an annual survey of living conditions in Sweden that were gathered in the years 1994–1995 and 2002–2003. We follow the same 3,149 individuals over both waves, describing them by sex, age group, family type, nationality background, education level and socio-economic class. Further, since the welfare disadvantages included in the analysis are chronic unemployment, economic problems, health problems, experiences of threat or violence, crowded housing, lack of a close friend and sleeping problems, we also have data on exactly which welfare problems each individual in the data set suffers from. In the empirical analysis, latent class factor analysis provides us not only with information on which individual characteristics that are important in the accumulation of welfare problems, but also gives us information on which disadvantages in fact are accumulated. First, we find that welfare problems do cluster. Second, the welfare problems that most often appear at a factor level with several disadvantages are experiences of threat or violence and sleeping problems. Finally, being an immigrant and being single are individual characteristics that turn up most often in factor levels with problem accumulation, whereas there is no distinctive difference between the sexes. However, women seem to be more prone to suffer from experiences of threat or violence and sleeping problems, while men are more likely to suffer from lack of a close friend.


Cumulative disadvantage Latent class factor analysis Welfare problems 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Helsinki Collegium for Advanced StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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