Private Forms of Unemployment Protection and Social Stratification. Alison Koslowski University of Edinburgh, UK

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1 Private Forms of Unemployment Protection and Social Stratification in England and Scotland Alison Koslowski University of Edinburgh, UK

2 Welfare Markets and Personal Risk Management in England and Scotland Part of a wider project, funded by the UK research council with colleagues Prof. Jochen Clasen & Dr Traute Meyer To examine the risk management strategies of British middle/high income households aimed at protection against potential income loss during and after working lives To explore households planning for contingencies - e.g unemployment, accidents, children s education, loss of a home, pensions, need for long term care

3 Research design Documentary analysis and mapping exercise of provision over time (1990s-current) Quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate behaviour & attitudes 70 qualitative interviews of relatively high-income couples with dependent children Analysis of government funded Family Resources Survey& Expenditure and Food Survey as well as data commissioned by the Association of British Insurers

4 Why compare England & Scotland? We like to work comparatively (!) Scotland has devolved powers in some areas (although not unemployment benefit) Political attitudes and voting behavior differ: Scotland is more left-leaning Different employment and social mix

5 Forms of financial protection in the case of not being able to work State: income replacement benefits Family & friends: financial transfers, in kind benefits Self-reliance: getting another job, reducing expenditure Market: private insurances, investments, savings, housing equity

6 Social stratifiers & the relative risk of unemployment Risk of income loss due to unemployment is not evenly distributed across society. Is income protection similarly distributed? Home ownership Occupation & sector of employment Education Wealth Income Family status Gender Age

7 Private unemployment protection Employer protection on the decrease, but still very much relied upon by those who have it Welfare markets A certain amount of private unemployment protection A certain amount of private unemployment protection is available, although this remains a niche product (Association of British Insurers, 2010). Certain social groups are more likely than others to take out such private insurance products as part of a security package against loss of income in the case of unemployment following redundancy and/or illness.

8 State and private risk management markets in comparison Source: ABI and HM Treasury, 2009

9 Forms of private income protection (for which data are collected in the FRS) Personal accident insurance Private medical (unusual in the UK as we have the NHS which is free at delivery, private care not always better care, particularly for more serious illness) Permanent health insurance Critical illness cover Friendly society sickness benefit To provide an income while in hospital Nursing home/long-term care Any other sickness insurance Unemployment/Redundancy

10 Percentage of households in England and Scotland paying any* insurance premium (FRS data, weighted)

11 Logistic regression: Whether households paid insurance premiums, Household paid premium Odds Ratio Robust Std. Err. Z P> z 95% Confidence Interval Scotland Couple with children Age Age Owns outright Mortgage Top 40% bhc N = 24,875; Pseudo R2 = 0.12 Wald chi(7) = 3036; Prob > chi2 =

12 Our core group : being most likely to have a security package Scotland & England only 2 Adults & dependent child(ren) Age of household reference person Home owner (either outright or with a mortgage) Falling into top 40% of equivalised total household income distribution before housing costs

13 Distribution of Policy Coverage Type Amongst Those Households in England and Scotland with a Insurance Policy (%), (FRS weighted data)

14 Different policies have different sets of predictors (FRS, ) Personal accident: more likely if Scottish and renting, in bottom 60%. Private medical: more likely if English and a home owner in top 40% Permanent health insurance: more likely if English, renting and in top 40% Critical illness cover: more likely if Scottish, couple with children, age 35-44, mortgage holder and in top 40%

15 Friendly society sickness benefit: less likely if Scottish, age 35-44, more likely if home owner (outright or mortgage) and in bottom 60% To provide an income while in hospital: more likely if English, less likely if couple with kids and aged 35-44, less likely if home owner, less likely if in top 40% Nursing home/long-term care: Very small sample, no coefficient statistically significant Any other sickness: more likely if outright home owner Redundancy: More likely in Scotland, if couple with children, less likely if own home outright, less likely if in top40%

16 Barriers to the development and uptake of private insurance Macro (why isn t the industry/state proportion uniform across sectors?): Institutional path dependence, political and cultural norms, electorate expectations and values Micro (what limits individuals uptake?): Perceptions Affordability/Existing loans or debts Financial literacy, responsibility & apathy Access Consumer trust

17 Key findings so far Our theoretically defined core group is empirically confirmed they are more likely to participate in private welfare markets Interesting consistency of income protection behaviour over time Participation in various income protection behaviour is socially stratified There does seem to be an English/Scottish split

18 Further analysis plans Expand key explanatory variables to include: employment history and occupation. Latent class analysis of the most recent data in Latent class analysis of the most recent data in order to identify sub-types associated with certain risk management behaviours in order to further our understanding of individuals risk management behaviour.

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