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Income and wealth inequality, deprivation and wellbeing in Switzerland, 1990-2013

Applicant Suter Christian
Number 143320
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut de sociologie Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Sociology
Start/End 01.04.2013 - 31.03.2016
Approved amount 362'319.00
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Keywords (9)

Relative deprivation; Economic inequality; Income inequality; Longitudinal analysis; Social inequalities; Wealth inequality; Wellbeing; Social change; Indebtedness

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Titre du projet:Inégalités des revenus et de la fortune, privations et bien-être en Suisse, 1990-2013 (Income and wealth inequality, deprivation and wellbeing in Switzerland, 1990-2013)Lead:La dynamique des inégalités de la situation matérielle de la population suisse et ses liens avec le bien-être individuel et collectif constitue le cœur de cette recherche. Celle-ci se base sur plusieurs enquêtes quantitatives pour analyser les changements survenus depuis les années 1990.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs:

Le but central de ce projet est d’évaluer l’évolution de la distribution des revenus, de la fortune, de l’endettement et de la privation matérielle en Suisse depuis le début des années 1990. En plus de l’analyse de ces évolutions, il s’agit aussi d’en examiner l’impact sur le bien-être subjectif de la population suisse. Plus précisément, ce projet vise à analyser les dynamiques au niveau macro, c’est-à-dire l’évolution globale et les tendances au niveau de divers groupes de la population, et les dynamiques au niveau micro, en particulier les trajectoires d’individus et de ménages. Le projet se base pour cela sur plusieurs enquêtes, notamment le Panel suisse de ménages, l’Enquête suisse sur la population active, l’Enquête revenus et conditions de vie en Suisse (SILC), et l’Enquête sur la structure des salaires.

Contexte scientifique et social:

L’étude des inégalités sociales est d’une grande importance du fait que les chances dans la vie des individus et des groupes sociaux dépendent de l’inégale distribution de ressources sociales matérielles et immatérielles. Le projet s’intègre dans les débats scientifiques et publics actuels sur les inégalités économiques persistantes et grandissantes.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 04.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
A Poisson-Based Framework for Setting Poverty Thresholds Using Indicator Lists
Babones Salvatore, Simona Moussa Jehane, Suter Christian (2016), A Poisson-Based Framework for Setting Poverty Thresholds Using Indicator Lists, in Social Indicators Research, 126(2), 711-726.
Conditions de travail dans les administrations cantonales en suisse, 1991-2012
Guillet Delphine, Huber Johanna, Ravazzini Laura, Suter Christian (2016), Conditions de travail dans les administrations cantonales en suisse, 1991-2012, Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux, Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel.
Les inégalités en Suisse posent la question des données
Gazareth Pascale, Suter Christian (2016), Les inégalités en Suisse posent la question des données, in La Vie économique / Die Volkwirtschaft, 2016(1–2), 45-48.
Offre formelle d'accueil préscolaire et parascolaire en Suisse, 1991-2012
Ravazzini Laura, Guillet Delphine, Suter Christian (2016), Offre formelle d'accueil préscolaire et parascolaire en Suisse, 1991-2012, Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux, Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel.
Die Entwicklung der Einkommensungleichheit in der Schweiz
Kuhn Ursina, Suter Christian (2015), Die Entwicklung der Einkommensungleichheit in der Schweiz, FORS, Social Change in Switzerland N 2, Lausanne.
Economic Inequalities in Rich Countries: Review Essay on Recent Publications and Research Directions
Ravazzini Laura (2015), Economic Inequalities in Rich Countries: Review Essay on Recent Publications and Research Directions, in Swiss Journal of Sociology, 41(1), 145-150.
From Dissonance to Well-Being and Adaption? Quality of Life in Switzerland Over the Past Decades
Suter Christian, Iglesias Katia, Moussa Jehane (2015), From Dissonance to Well-Being and Adaption? Quality of Life in Switzerland Over the Past Decades, in Glatzer Wolfgang (ed.), Springer, New York, USA, 685-714.
Le bien-être subjectif en Suisse au début du 21e siècle : évolution et déterminants
Iglesias Katia, Simona Moussa Jehane, Suter Christian (2015), Le bien-être subjectif en Suisse au début du 21e siècle : évolution et déterminants, Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux, Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel.
Switzerland: Poverty Policy and Poverty Research in Switzerland
Budowski Monica, Masia Maurizia, Tillmann Robin (2015), Switzerland: Poverty Policy and Poverty Research in Switzerland, in Libor Grzegorz (ed.), Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, Katowice, Poland, 235-258.
Wealth variables in the Swiss Household Panel: Imputation and first results
Kuhn Ursina, Crettaz Eric (2015), Wealth variables in the Swiss Household Panel: Imputation and first results, FORS, Swiss Household Panel Working paper 1_15, Lausanne.
Debt
Suter Christian (2014), Debt, in Michalos Alex C. (ed.), Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 6093-6097.
Social Inequalities
Suter Christian (2014), Social Inequalities, in Michalos Alex C. (ed.), Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 6093-6097.
Social stratification
Budowski Monica, Tillmann Robin (2014), Social stratification, in Michalos Alex C. (ed.), Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 6153-6156.
Working Poor
Crettaz Eric (2014), Working Poor, in Michalos Alex C. (ed.), Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 7226-7230.
The Impact of Adaptive Preferences on Subjective Indicators: An Analysis of Poverty Indicators
Crettaz Eric, Suter Christian (2013), The Impact of Adaptive Preferences on Subjective Indicators: An Analysis of Poverty Indicators, in Social Indicators Research, 114(1), 139-152.
Considering the various data sources, survey types and indicators: To what extent do conclusions regarding changing income inequality in Switzerland since the early 1990s converge?
Suter Christian, Kuhn Ursina, Gazareth Pascale, Crettaz Eric, Ravazzini Laura, Considering the various data sources, survey types and indicators: To what extent do conclusions regarding changing income inequality in Switzerland since the early 1990s converge?, in Franzen Axel (ed.), Seismo Verlag, Zürich.
Pauvreté, précarité, prospérité et bien-être
Tillmann Robin, Masia Maurizia, Budowski Monica, Pauvreté, précarité, prospérité et bien-être, in Ehrler Franziska (ed.), Seismo Verlag, Zürich.
Ségrégation ou intégration ? L’intensité de la ségrégation sur le marché du travail neuchâtelois, romand et suisse et ses changements depuis les années 1990
Ravazzini Laura, Suter Christian, Ségrégation ou intégration ? L’intensité de la ségrégation sur le marché du travail neuchâtelois, romand et suisse et ses changements depuis les années 1990, in Cahier de l’Institut neuchâtelois n°36 (ed.), Editions Gilles Attinger, Hauterive.
Sociological Perspectives on Poverty
Suter Christian, Beycan Tugce, Ravazzini Laura, Sociological Perspectives on Poverty, in Odell Korgen Kathleen (ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Strutture d’accoglienza della prima infanzia e opportunità per le donne che lavorano
Ravazzini Laura, Strutture d’accoglienza della prima infanzia e opportunità per le donne che lavorano, in Dati- Statistiche e Società, XVI(1).
The Impact of Female Labour Force Participation on Household Income Inequality in Switzerland
Kuhn Ursina, Ravazzini Laura, The Impact of Female Labour Force Participation on Household Income Inequality in Switzerland, in Swiss Journal of Sociology, 43(1).

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Ben Jann (University of Bern) and Robert Fluder (University of Applied Sciences Bern) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Jenny Chesters, University of Canberra Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
FORS, University of Lausanne (Robin Tillmann) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
GINI-Growing Inequalities' Impacts Network (Wiemer Salverda, University of Amsterdam) Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Salvatore Babones, University of Sydney Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
FORS, University of Lausanne (Dr. Peter Farago, Ursina Kuhn) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Heinz-Herbert Noll, GESIS, Mannheim Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Life Satisfaction and Social Optimum: The challenge between subjective and objective wellbeing indicators (HEIRS International Conference 2016) Talk given at a conference From one recession to another: Longitudinal impacts on the quality of life of vulnerable groups 15.03.2016 Roma, Italy Simona (Moussa) Jehane;
International Conference Economics, Health and Happiness Talk given at a conference What is vulnerability and what are the impacts on the subjective wellbeing? A comparative analysis of four measurements in Switzerland 14.01.2016 Lugano, Switzerland Simona (Moussa) Jehane;
Konferenz "Mehr Bildung für weniger Armut", Nationales Programm gegen Armut, Elternbildung.ch Talk given at a conference Armutsforschung in der Schweiz: Ursachen und Dynamiken 06.11.2015 Solothurn, Switzerland Budowski Monica;
Dealing with Complexity in Society Talk given at a conference Multidimensional Quality of Life in Switzerland: Towards New Synthetic Measures for Social Reporting 17.09.2015 Padova, Italy Simona (Moussa) Jehane; Iglesias Katia; Suter Christian;
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association Talk given at a conference The impact of assortative mating and of female labour supply on inequality in Switzerland 25.08.2015 Pragua, Czech Republic Suter Christian; Ravazzini Laura;
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association Talk given at a conference The impacts of crises on quality of life: Switzerland from the 1990s to nowadays 25.08.2015 Pragua, Czech Republic Simona (Moussa) Jehane; Ravazzini Laura; Suter Christian;
6th conference of the European Survey Research Association Talk given at a conference Effect of educational expansion on wage inequality in Switzerland 14.07.2015 Reykjavik, Iceland Ravazzini Laura;
6th meeting of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ)     Talk given at a conference Does Inequality Make People Unhappy? Evidence of the Link Between Inequality and Subjective Wellbeing in Europe 13.07.2015 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Ravazzini Laura;
Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association 2015: Collective Dynamics, Social (De-)Regulation and Public Spheres Talk given at a conference Précarité et qualité de vie. Utilisation d’une méthode mixte pour analyser les effets de la santé. 03.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Simona (Moussa) Jehane;
Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association 2015: Collective Dynamics, Social (De-)Regulation and Public Spheres Talk given at a conference Neither prosperous nor poor, the Subjective Wellbeing of those in between: comparing poverty, deprivation, precariousness and vulnerability measures 03.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Simona (Moussa) Jehane;
Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association 2015: Collective Dynamics, Social (De-)Regulation and Public Spheres Talk given at a conference Dynamique de la pauvreté entre 1999 et 2013 et dérégulation des parcours de vie 03.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Iglesias Katia; Gazareth Pascale;
8th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland Talk given at a conference Inequality within wealthy nations: A comparison of the gender wealth gap in Switzerland and Australia 02.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Ravazzini Laura;
8th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland Talk given at a conference Does type of healthcare regime affect well-being? A comparison between Switzerland and Australia 02.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Simona (Moussa) Jehane;
8th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland Talk given at a conference Decreasing well-being in Switzerland in the early 2000’s: a matter of health and economic hardship, of crisis or of a refreshment sample? 01.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Gazareth Pascale; Iglesias Katia;
8th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland Talk given at a conference The impact of assortative mating and of female labour supply on inequality in Switzerland 01.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Ravazzini Laura;
8th International Conference of Panel Data Users in Switzerland Talk given at a conference Material deprivation and its determinants in time: results for Switzerland since 1999 01.06.2015 Lausanne, Switzerland Iglesias Katia; Gazareth Pascale;
3rd Equal is not Enough conference Talk given at a conference Childcare Policies and Women’s Work: The Case of Switzerland in the New Millennium 04.02.2015 Anwerpen, Belgium Ravazzini Laura;
The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts Talk given at a conference The effects of Swiss gender policies on vertical sex segregation in STEM professions 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Ravazzini Laura;
The Evolution of Economic and Social Inequalities in Switzerland (and Beyond): Exactly How and Why Inequality has Changed and with What Impacts Talk given at a conference Various Data Sources, Various Survey Types, Various Indicators: How Converging are Conclusions Regarding the Evolution of Income Inequality in Switzerland since the Early 1990s? 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Crettaz Eric; Gazareth Pascale; Suter Christian;
The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts Talk given at a conference The Impacts of Health and Economic Inequalities on Well-being in Switzerland, 2000-2012 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Iglesias Katia;
The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts Talk given at a conference Neither prosperous nor poor, the subjective wellbeing of those in between: Comparative perspective of three measures 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Simona (Moussa) Jehane;
The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts Talk given at a conference Income inequality and female labour market participation 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Ravazzini Laura;
The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts Talk given at a conference What Can we learn about Inequalities in Wealth in Switzerland from Survey Data? 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Ravazzini Laura; Crettaz Eric;
The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts Talk given at a conference Analyzing deprivation in Switzerland: Index construction and evolution from 1999 to 2012 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Gazareth Pascale; Iglesias Katia;
The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts Talk given at a conference Health and inequality: households mobility in deprivations and income due to a household member’s deterioration in health 23.10.2014 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Masia Maurizia; Budowski Monica;
Colloque "Politiques de lutte contre la pauvreté", Université de Lausanne, IDHEAP Talk given at a conference Politiques du logement: de l’hébergement d’urgence à la réinsertion par le logement 02.10.2014 Lausanne, Switzerland Crettaz Eric;
Colloque "Politiques de lutte contre la pauvreté", Université de Lausanne, IDHEAP Talk given at a conference La pauvreté: approches, formes et facteurs explicatifs 02.10.2014 Lausanne, Switzerland Budowski Monica;
Social Dynamics and Wellbeing - Indian and Swiss Approaches Talk given at a conference Precarious Prosperity and Wellbeing: the case of Switzerland 09.09.2014 Bangalor, India Simona (Moussa) Jehane;
109th ASA Annual Meeting: the impact of economic inequality on families and individuals Talk given at a conference Impact of Gender Politics on Female Labour Force Participation and Sex Segregation in Switzerland 16.08.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Ravazzini Laura; Suter Christian;
XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology Talk given at a conference A longitudinal perspective on quality of life in times of crisis: Switzerland from the 1990s to nowadays 13.07.2014 Yokohama, Japan Ravazzini Laura; Simona (Moussa) Jehane; Suter Christian; Crettaz Eric;
Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association 2013 Talk given at a conference From one recession to another: the evolution of income inequality, poverty, material deprivation in Switzerland between the downturn of the early 1990s and the worldwide crisis of the late 2000s 26.06.2013 Bern, Switzerland Simona (Moussa) Jehane; Crettaz Eric; Suter Christian;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
ESTEM open talks Talk 27.03.2015 Canberra, Australia Ravazzini Laura;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Comment sauver son pouvoir d’achat ? Bilan Western Switzerland 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Quale società per una migliore qualità della vita?  La Repubblica, Micromega International 2016
Media relations: print media, online media Einkommensverteilung in der Schweiz. Konstante Ungleichheit seit 1990 NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Grâce aux femmes, l’inégalité des revenus des ménages ne s’accroît pas 24 heures Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: radio, television Inégalités de revenus (interview avec Pascale Gazareth) RTS la 1ère, émission Tribu Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Les crises ont un effet égalitaire Le Courrier Western Switzerland 2015
Media relations: print media, online media Les inégalités du revenu suisse Le Temps Western Switzerland 2015

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
148822 The Operationalization of Monetary Poverty in High-Income Countries 01.06.2013 International short research visits
166319 Wealth distribution in Switzerland and Germany: Evidence from Survey Data 01.01.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)
58474 Living conditions and social inequality: Switzerland in comparative perspective 01.01.2000 Swiss Priority Programmes (SPPs)
157275 The evolution of economic and social inequalities in Switzerland (and beyond): exactly how and why inequality has changed and with what impacts 01.10.2014 Scientific Conferences
141975 A comparative perspective on precarious prosperity and household strategies in Romania and Switzerland in times of economic strain 01.03.2013 Romanian-Swiss Research Programme (RSRP)
54350 Soziale Ungleichheit und ihre Wahrnehmung - Erweiterte Erhebung und Analyse im Rahmen des International Social Survey Programme (ISSP 1999) 01.09.1998 Swiss Priority Programmes (SPPs)

Abstract

The study of social inequalities is of great importance since the life chances of individuals and social groups are shaped by the unequal distribution of the central material and non-material social goods. The proposed project is motivated by the growing international scientific debate on and public awareness of persistent and growing inequalities and its (detrimental) effects on individual and collective wellbeing (regarding the international public debate, see the “Europe 2020” strategy of the European Union or the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report. The central aim of this project is to examine the evolution of the distribution of income, wealth, household debt and deprivation in Switzerland from the early 1990s onwards, and to investigate their impact as well as that of other social inequalities on subjective wellbeing. The project is divided into three closely related re-search modules: Based on information from various surveys and existing datasets Module 1 “Economic inequality: Macro-level dynamics” investigates the fluctuations in inequalities of household income, wealth, debt and depriva-tion between 1990 and 2013, both overall and among particular groups at the macro level. This module cal-culates the commonly used measures of income and wealth/net worth concentration and dispersion, as well as indicators of relative deprivation based on existing large data sets. Module 2 “Micro-level dynamics of income inequality and deprivation” provides an in-depth study of persistence and change of income inequality and deprivation (including the relationships between income and deprivation, and the analysis of the determinants of income and deprivation episodes and trajectories) at the micro level of individuals and households. Module 3 “Social inequalities and subjective wellbeing” focuses on the impact of social inequalities and deprivation on subjective wellbeing. In addition to overall satisfaction, we take into account life-domain satisfaction and respondents’ life events. The analyses of module 2 and 3 will be based on longitudinal panel data of the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) with yearly waves available since 1999. The research plan of the proposed project is original in four respects: Firstly, the proposed project deals in detail with the core dimension of social inequalities in modern societies, i.e. economic inequality and its different components, notably income (both market and non-market income), wealth, indebtedness and consumption/non-monetary material deprivation. The project emphasizes the multi-dimensional and relational nature of these different components of economic inequalities and intends to provide a broad integrated view. Secondly, the project focuses on the long-term evolution and the dynamics of economic inequalities over the past 20 years. Apart from the availability of comparable data these time period is particularly inter-esting because of the strong economic fluctuations (prolonged crisis of the early 1990s, current global financial crisis) and the assumed consequences on inequality and deprivation. It aims to provide both a comprehensive, overall view on long-term economic inequality evolution at the macro level, and new insights into the dynamics of income inequality and deprivation at the household and individual levels. Thirdly, the project investigates on the basis of longitudinal panel data how exactly economic and social inequalities impact on an important area of quality of life, namely subjective wellbeing. Fourthly, research on economic inequalities in Switzerland is characterized by the utilization of rather diverse and often incompatible data. The empirical evidence on the evolution of economic inequality remains, therefore inconsistent and fragmented. The project does not collect own data, but uses existing large data sets and systematically evaluates the comparability of these different data sets. The proposed project will thus contribute to a more integrated, deeper and more precise understanding of the dynamics, mechanisms and impacts of social and economic inequalities.
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