Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 127, Issue 1, pp 341–360 | Cite as

Perceptions of the Economic Crisis in Europe: Do Adults in Households with Children Feel a Greater Impact?

  • Yekaterina ChzhenEmail author
Article

Abstract

More than 5 years since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, a flurry of evidence is emerging on the effects of the ensuing economic downturn on unemployment and poverty rates in rich countries, but less is known about cross-country differences in subjective assessments of the crisis and whether adults in households with children were affected to a greater extent. This paper investigates differences in the perceived impact of the economic crisis between adults in households with and without children in 17 European countries, using data from the Life in Transition Survey 2010 in a multilevel modelling framework. It also explores differences in the coping strategies that households adopted to deal with the decline in income or economic activity. Everything else being equal, perceptions of the crisis were more widespread in countries with higher rates of child poverty, lower economic growth and lower GDP per capita. Across countries, perceptions of the crisis closely trailed subjective indicators of financial difficulties from other international surveys conducted in 2010. Adults in households with children were more likely to report an impact of the crisis, with larger differences in countries with higher rates of monetary child poverty. Adults in households with children also adopted a greater variety of coping strategies than the rest, prioritizing expenditure on basic necessities, while cutting back on luxuries and holidays. Nevertheless, many still reported reduced consumption of staple foods as a result of economic difficulties.

Keywords

Economic crisis Subjective impact Household coping strategies Children 

Supplementary material

11205_2015_956_MOESM1_ESM.docx (159 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 158 kb)

References

  1. Atkinson, A. B., & Marlier, E. (2010). Income and living conditions in Europe. Luxembourg: Eurostat.Google Scholar
  2. Aytac, I., Rankin, B. & Ibicoglu, A. (2014). The social impact of the 2014 global economic crisis on neighbourhoods, households and individuals in Turkey. Social Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s11205-014-0769-5.
  3. Bidani, B., Diagne, M. F. & Zaidi, S. (2012). Subjective perceptions of the impact of the global economic crisis in Europe and Central Asia: The household perspective. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, 5995.Google Scholar
  4. Bradshaw, J., Chzhen, Y., De Neubourg, C., et al. (2012). Relative income poverty among children in rich Countries. Innocenti working paper, 2012-01.Google Scholar
  5. Bradshaw, J., & Main, G. (2014). The impact of austerity: Impacts on child well-being in the UK and comparatively. In social policy association annual conference. University of Sheffield.Google Scholar
  6. Browne, J. (2012). The impact of austerity measures on households with children. UK: Family and Parenting Institute.Google Scholar
  7. Chzhen, Y. (2014). Child poverty and material deprivation in the European Union during the great recession. Innocenti working paper, 2014-06.Google Scholar
  8. Chzhen, K., Evans, G., & Pickup, M. (2013). When do economic perceptions matter for party approval? Political Behavior, 36(2), 291–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Deutsch, J., Guio, A.-C., Pomati, M., & Silber, J. (2015). Material deprivation in Europe: Which expenditures are curtailed first? Social Indicators Research, 120, 723–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. EBRD. (2011). Life in transition: After the crisis. London: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.Google Scholar
  11. European Union. (2014). Eurobarometer qualitative study: Coping with the crisis. Aggregate report. Google Scholar
  12. Frazer, H., & Marlier, E. (2014). Investing in children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage. A study of national policies. Assessment of what Member States would need to do to implement the European Commission Recommendation. Synthesis report. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  13. Friedman, J., & Sturdy, J. (2011). The influence of economic crisis on early childhood development: A review of pathways and measured impact. In H. Alderman (Ed.), No small matter: The impact of poverty, shocks, and human capital investments in early childhood development (pp. 51–83). Washington, D.C.: World Bank Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gabos, A., Ozdemir, E., & Ward, T. (2011). Material deprivation among children. Research note, European Commission, social situation observatoryincome distribution and living conditions.Google Scholar
  15. Gallup. (2012). Worldwide research methodology and codebook. Gallup, Inc. Available on request from Gallup only.Google Scholar
  16. Gudmundsdottir. (2013). The impact of economic crisis on happiness. Social Indicators Research, 110, 1083–1101.Google Scholar
  17. Helliwell, J. F., Huang, H., & Wang, S. (2014). Social capital and well-being in times of crisis. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15, 145–162.Google Scholar
  18. Holmqvist, G., & Natali, L. (2014). Exploring the impact of the financial crisis using Gallup World Poll data. Innocenti Working Paper, 2014-14.Google Scholar
  19. Lundberg, M., & Wuermli, A. (Eds.). (2012). Children and youth in crisis: Protecting and promoting human development in times of economic shocks. Washington, D.C: World Bank Publications.Google Scholar
  20. Lusardi, A., Schneider, D. J., & Tufano, P. (2011). Financially fragile households: Evidence and implications. NBER Working Paper, 17072.Google Scholar
  21. Martorano, B. (2014). The consequences of the recent economic crisis and government reactions for children. Innocenti Working Paper, 2014-05.Google Scholar
  22. Mendoza, R. U. (2009). Aggregate shocks, poor households and children transmission channels and policy responses. Global Social Policy, 9(1 suppl), 55–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Natali, L., Martorano, B., & Handa, S., Holmqvist, G., & Chzhen, Y. (2014). Trends in child wellbeing in EU Countries during the Great Recession: A cross-country comparative perspective. Innocenti Working Paper, 2014-10.Google Scholar
  24. OECD. (2014). Society at a glance 2014: The crisis and its aftermath. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  25. Pemberton, S., Sutton, E., & Fahmy, E. (2013) A review of the qualitative evidence relating to the experience of poverty and exclusion. Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK Working Paper, Methods Series, 22.Google Scholar
  26. Pfeffer, F. T., Danziger, S., & Schoeni, R. F. (2013). Wealth disparities before and after the great recession. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 650(1), 98–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Snijders, T., & Bosker, R. (2012). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, London: Sage.Google Scholar
  28. Social Protection Committee. (2014). Social Europe: Many ways, one objective. Annual Report of the Social Protection Committee on the social situation in the European Union (2013).Google Scholar
  29. TNS Political & Social. (2011). Monitoring the social impact of the crisis: public perceptions in the European Union (Wave 6). Flash Eurobarometer 311. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  30. TNS Political & Social. (2012). Monitoring the social impact of the crisis:public perceptions in the European Union (wave 6). Flash Eurobarometer 338. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  31. UNICEF Office of Research—Innocenti. (2014). Children of the recession: The impact of the economic crisis on child well-being in rich countries. Innocenti Report Card, 12.Google Scholar
  32. World Health Organization. (2014). Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNICEF Office of ResearchFlorenceItaly

Personalised recommendations