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Is the young generation lagging behind? Wellbeing and welfare policies

Working paper
Författare Helena Olofsdotter Stensöta
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Språk en
Länkar qog.pol.gu.se/digitalAssets/1565/15...
Ämnesord wellbeing, youth, welfare policies, europe
Ämneskategorier Statsvetenskap

Sammanfattning

Reports have shown that youth wellbeing, especially along subjective dimensions such as life satisfaction, is not as high as expected. Especially puzzling is that this is also true in encompassing welfare states that usually are successful in providing wellbeing for the general population. Hence, there seems to be a puzzle either between how welfare states affect objective versus subjective wellbeing, and/or how they address youth- versus general wellbeing. Drawing on Ronald Inglehart´s theory on post material values I hypothesize that increasing individualism can account for youths´ lower subjective wellbeing. The paper starts off by empirically documenting a gap in wellbeing between the general population and youth (15-year olds) along four material- and post material dimensions more in detail, to the disadvantage of the young. The hypothesis is tested through a time-series analysis (∆-variables). Contrary to expectations it shows that postmodern values correlate positively with higher youth life satisfaction. I conclude that for the young, post-materialism seem to enhance positive notions of freedom rather than negative notions of individualism as dis-connecting ties between people.

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