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  • RECCHI Ettore (16)
  • SCHRADIE Jen (14)
  • SAUGER Nicolas (14)
  • SAFI Mirna (14)
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Care occupations are gendered and remain relatively poorly paid, particularly in the United States. Prior research on the ‘care penalty’ primarily points to individual, relational, and market-valuation factors in explaining the relative earnings of care workers. This study integrates these explanations with a comparative institutional perspective. Using higher-quality data and methods than previous comparative research in the field—that is, harmonized micro-data from the Current Population Survey and EU-SILC from 2005 to 2016, country and year fixed effects models, and a counterfactual analysis—we find that national variance in labour market and welfare state institutions explains most of the difference in the relative earnings of reproductive care workers between the United States and European countries. Higher rates of collective bargaining coverage, stronger employment protection and welfare state spending contribute to higher relative earnings for reproductive care occupations, and lower relative earnings for high-status nurturant care occupations. Differences in the relative earnings of care workers appear to be mostly a construct of social policy and labour market institutions rather than individual, relational, and market-valuation factors.

Findings on the mental health impact of the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Europe are mixed and lack a comparative and longitudinal perspective. The authors used the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe and fixed-effects regressions to estimate within-individual change in the probability to report feelings of depression between 2005 and 2017 and directly following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 11 European countries for adults ages 50 and older. The authors found an unprecedented decline in feelings of depression between 2017 and 2020 in all countries that was larger than any previous observed change. The probability to report feelings of depression decreased by 14.5 percentage points on average, ranging from 7 to 19 percentage points in Spain and Switzerland, respectively. Moreover, there were no systematic within-country differences by socioeconomic characteristics, chronic health conditions, virus exposure, or change in activities. These findings challenge conventional wisdom about the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting the international political economy unlike any event since WWII. Consequently, France reversed years of fiscal consolidation by instating, at least temporarily, a costly emergency furlough scheme reaching a third of the workforce. This provides a natural setting to investigate a potential ‘critical juncture’, and whether the French public still accepts austerity politics today, as it seems to have after the Global Financial Crisis. We observe crisis narratives’ salience across social classes, employing an original quantitative approach for Critical Political Economy, which uses panel data and two experiments. We test if citizens’ viewpoints are sensitive to the trade-off between health and economics, receptive to austerity and conditioned by their socioeconomic status. We find that public opinion shifted after an authoritative and dire economic forecast at the pandemic’s first peak in April 2020, but that acquiescence to austerity did not occur during the phase-out of the first lockdown in June, with the exception of the upper class. Overall, public support favours increased social spending, and pro-austerity crisis narratives might not shape the majority’s ‘common sense’, as they had after the GFC. We conclude with implications for the study of class and public policy in a post-pandemic world.

We compare labour market protection varieties and evaluate systematically trajectories of change across 21 high-income countries over three decades. Our measures – Principal Component Analysis and a new multidimensional indicator – deal with the average production worker assumption and allow us to assess countries’ trajectories of change in relation to, and independently from, classic varieties. We find that in 1990 labour market protection varieties retrace mostly Esping-Andersen’s worlds of welfare, and in 2015 the distinction between social democratic and Christian democratic regimes vanishes, while Mediterranean and liberal countries are grouped respectively more tightly. Moreover, despite the persistent difference between Coordinated (CMEs) and Liberal Market Economies (LMEs) in their labour market protection levels, a large majority of CMEs became more similar to LMEs, after their pursuit of liberalization and dualization trajectories. At the opposite, a handful of CMEs experienced an increase in labour market protection following flexicurity, de-dualization and higher protection trajectories. To help conceptualise the space where countries move, worlds of welfare, varieties of capitalism and the ideal typical trajectories developed in the literature are used to interpret labour market liberalization patterns; however, the trajectories we identify do not always conform to classic varieties and appear more varied than previously suggested.

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The article is a commentary to Achille Ardigò’s essay Introduction to the sociological analysis of the welfare state and its transformations published in 1977. It highlights the theoretical roots of Ardigò’s work and its capacity to anticipate issues and themes developed successfully in the welfare state literature. We focus on three contributions of his work: 1) to the historical sociology of the welfare state; 2) to the understanding of the specificity of the Italian welfare state; 3) to the analysis of the relationship between welfare and political legitimacy. The article concludes with a reflection on the welfare state as an object of sociological interest beyond the borders of the nation-state.

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The paper investigates the Italian institutional adaptation to Neoliberalism and contributes to the literature in two ways. First, we analyse Italian and international political economy developments since the late 1960s, employing a historical institutionalist approach, sequencing the shift from the ‘roll back’ of Fordism to the ‘roll out’ of neoliberalism. In doing so, we connect the long-standing relevance and re-emergence of neoliberal ideas among technocratic elites and major political parties to the progressive building up of a neoliberal turn in 1992. Second, we develop the notion of selective neoliberalism, defined as a modality of institutional adaptation to neoliberalism which starts from the margins after the 1992 critical juncture, hitting first weak social groups through a dualization process, and then expanding to the rest of society in the form of liberalisation. We illustrate how successive governments circumvented the resistance of trade unions and completed the process of neoliberal adaptation over time, through an analysis of labour market and pension reform processes. The notion of selective neoliberalism might be applied to other countries and policy domains, in particular where an incremental reform process undermines step-by-step the resistance of different veto players to neoliberalization.

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Care occupations are strongly gendered and remain relatively poorly paid, particularly in the United States. Prior research points to individual, relational, and market- valuation factors in explaining the relative earnings of care workers. In contrast, this study applies a comparative institutional perspective to investigate cross-national differences in the relative earnings of care workers. Using merged data from the U.S. Current Population Survey and EU-SILC, we find that national variance in labour market and welfare state institutions explains nearly all of the difference in the relative earnings of reproductive care workers between the U.S. and EU. Higher rates of collective bargaining coverage and welfare state spending contribute to higher relative earnings for reproductive care occupations, and lower relative earnings for high-status nurturant care occupations. Differences in the relative earnings of care workers appear to be primarily a construct of social and labour market policies.

Ferragina, Zola: An Obituary for Austerity Narratives? iiiAbstractThe Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting the international political economy context unlike any event since World War II. As a consequence, the French government has, at least mo-mentarily, reversed decades of fiscal consolidation policies sedimented around austerity narratives by instating a costly emergency furlough scheme for a third of the workforce. This crisis provides a natural setting to investigate the relations among an emerging “critical juncture” in political economy, public preferences, and the salience of austerity narratives. We collected panel data and administered two experiments to test if citizens’ viewpoints are sensitive to the trade-off between health and economics, still receptive to austerity narra-tives, and conditioned by socioeconomic status in supporting them. We find public view-points were highly swayable between health and economic concerns at the first peak of the epidemic outbreak in April 2020, but they were not influenced by the austerity narratives during the phase-out of the lockdown in June, with the exception of the upper class. Overall, public support is shifting in favor of increased social spending, and austerity might no lon-ger inhabit the majority’s “common sense.” We conclude with further implications for the study of class and conflict in a post-pandemic world.

Début 2020, l’idée d’une pandémie mondiale était étrangère à la plupart d’entre nous. Et, évidemment, le principe du confinement nous était encore plus éloigné. Mais le bilan de cette année de la Covid-19 reste marqué par le fait que de nombreux gouvernements de par le monde ont édicté des interdictions de sortie du domicile et d’autres mesures de restriction. En France, les gens ont maintenant l’expérience de deux confinements nationaux. Celui du printemps, qui a duré deux mois, a été strict avec la fermeture des écoles, la limitation de l’accès aux espaces publics ouverts ainsi que la fermeture de la plupart des lieux de travail. Le confinement d’automne, le second de l’année, a été plus souple, les écoles et les entreprises restant ouvertes pour la plupart. Mais pour les deux confinements, tout le monde en France devait fournir une attestation sur l’honneur pour effectuer les sorties essentielles. Les réunions publiques, les bars et les restaurants restaient également fermés. Ce policy brief analyse comment la population française a traversé cette année, en comparant les expériences du premier et du second confinement, au prisme de la question des inégalités. Comme pour les autres Policy briefs de cette série, nous utilisons la capacité explicative de sondages répétés auprès des mêmes personnes qui font toutes partie du panel longitudinal français ELIPSS.

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In the beginning of 2020, the idea of a worldwide pandemic was not on most people’s minds, let alone the concept of a lockdown. But as this Covid-19 year comes to a close, governments around the globe have instituted stay-at-home orders and other restrictions. In France, people have now experienced two national lockdowns. The first spring lockdown, lasting two months, was severe with schools, outdoor public spaces, and most workplaces closed. The second fall lockdown was less drastic, as schools and many businesses stayed open. Yet for both lockdowns, everyone in France needed a self-written authorization to go outside only for essential outings. Public gatherings, bars, and restaurants remained shuttered. This policy brief analyzes how people in France navigated this past year, comparing the spring and fall lockdown experiences, with an eye toward tracking inequalities. As with previous Policy Briefs, we leverage the power of repeated surveys with the same pool of respondents who are all part of a longitudinal sample of the French population (ELIPSS).

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