Life Course Risks Project - The Economic Consequences of Key Life Risks in Germany and the US and Their Evolution since the 1980s
In recent years many commentators and social scientists have claimed that individuals and households in Western societies are facing increased economic insecurities. One alleged force behind this trend is the downscaling of welfare state mechanisms that ameliorate the negative economic consequences of critical events such as unemployment or separation. These claims have rarely been tested empirically, however. The project will therefore use German and US panel data to study the changing consequences of key life risks such as unemployment, illness, separation, and single parenthood. The US is of particular interest, as it arguably comes closer than any other Western country to the “residual” welfare state that constitutes an important reference point in public and scientific debates on welfare state reform. On a more general level, the time- and country-comparative design of the project aims at a better understanding of how the welfare state affects the short-and long-term consequences of critical life events. To maximize the analytical leverage, the analysis of micro-data will therefore be combined with systematic and thorough accounts of institutional change. The project will thus provide an all-too-rare combination of macro-level institutional analysis and micro-level welfare analysis.
Regression models for panel data (in particular fixed effects models, dynamic panel models), country comparison Germany-USA