Social exclusion in the context of welfare models: cross-country comparison

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Strategies to increase the people’s standard of living and reducing their social exclusion vary according to the models of social welfare, which were historically developed in different countries. There are differences at the level of state support for those who are at risk to be socially excluded. Down to date the cross-country comparison of social exclusion in the general population of the groups of countries representing different models of social policy was not implemented. Therefore, the aim of this work was to compare social exclusion level (average scores) in groups of countries with different models of social welfare. At the first stage of the analysis the two components of the social exclusion concept were empirically identified and selected according to the approach to its measurement, proposed by G. Jehoel-Gijsbers and C. Vrooman.

Based on data of the European Social Survey (ESS), the author used factor analysis to carry out the empirical identification of material deprivation dimensions and social exclusion in the groups of countries that represent social-democratic, conservative-corporatists, liberal, Mediterranean model of social policy, as well as the group of countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet States. To facilitate the interpretation of empirically identifiable factors, defined respectively for each dimension of indicators, author computed additive index of material deprivation and social exclusion.

The results of Pearson correlation coefficient calculation revealed strong positive correlation between the additive index and identified factors, so the figures can be considered to be equivalent measurement tools. At the second stage of analysis, in order to compare mean scores of social exclusion among groups of countries with different social policy models, the author used single factor analysis of variance. The comparison results of the average values of the material deprivation index demonstrate its compliance with the level of social and pension security according to a specific model of social policy. However, the example of the group of Eastern European and former Soviet countries did not show a direct link between social isolation and specific models of social welfare.

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