The central aim of the present paper is to analyse the degree to which welfare problems accumulate over time and to what extent such an accumulation is related to class position and household formation. We utilize longitudinal data from the Swedish Survey of Living Conditions, following a panel that was first interviewed in 1979 and, thereafter, re-interviewed three times (1986–87, 1994–95 and 2002–03). We use structural equation modelling to extract latent deprivation indexes based on seven manifest indicators. Thereafter, the indexes are used as input values in a latent growth curve (LGC) model when estimating an intercept variable and a slope variable. We finally estimate two structural models. In the first model, the relation over time between class position, class mobility and deprivation are estimated, and the second model deals with the relationship between household types, change of household type and deprivation. Several interesting results can be reported. We find a strong relationship between the deprivation indexes over time. The LGC model can also confirm a positive relationship between deprivation intercept and deprivation slope. That is, individuals who score high on the deprivation index from the beginning are increasingly prone to accumulate additional welfare problems over time. The analysis also reveals a clear class gradient as well as effects of class mobility. In addition, it is shown that deprivation affects class mobility, meaning that we can confirm selection effects. Also household constellation and changes of household type are closely connected to deprivation and changes in deprivation over time. The analysis reveals selection effects even in this case.
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The increased income dispersion between the two first and the two latter measurement points is partly an effect of changes of the way to measure income that were implemented in 1991. However, the main bulk of the development is related to substantial changes of the income distribution.
The 1979 sample is about twice as large as the latter sample, and the panel part was, therefore, split between 1986 and 1987.
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We would like to thank Mikael Bask, Olof Bäckman, Anders Nilsson and Xavier de Luna for helpful comments and suggestions. The usual disclaimer applies.
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Halleröd, B., Bask, M. Accumulation of Welfare Problems in a Longitudinal Perspective. Soc Indic Res 88, 311–327 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-007-9192-5