This latest European Social Survey (ESS) webinar will feature presentations from researchers who have conducted analysis of data collected over the first 20 years of the project (2002-22).
Organised by the ESS HQ based at City, University of London, presentations will focus on support for income redistribution; religiosity among young respondents; life satisfaction across time and generations; and internet access by age and other socio-demographics.
Ivan Petrúšek (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences) will introduce research that traced trends in public attitudes towards income redistribution in 18 European countries, grouped into five welfare regimes.
The presentation will draw on research with Aleš Kudrnáč (Umeå University) that assessed support for income redistribution in the first nine rounds of the survey (2002-19).
Kristýna Bašná (Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences) will further examine support for income redistribution in 27 European countries.
In particular, this will focus on the contextual effects of unemployment on people's support for income redistribution (2002-19).
José Pereira Coutinho (Catholic University of Portugal) will discuss religiosity amongst young respondents (aged 15-34).
A single index of religiosity was created by combining ESS data (2002-20) from three items: measuring religious belonging, frequency of attending religious services and frequency of prayer.
Daphne Nicolitsas (University of Crete) will draw on data collected in all 10 rounds of the survey (2002-22) measuring the life satisfaction of respondents within and between countries, and across age cohorts.
It will also consider ESS economic, political and demographic data as potential explanations for these developments.
Bruno Arpino (University of Florence) will discuss the digital divide between older and younger respondents when it comes to internet access.
The research employed Machine Learning techniques to examine demographic and socio-economic predictors of internet use.
A Q&A chaired by ESS deputy director, Dr. Eric Harrison, will follow the presentations. An open Q&A will follow the presentations.
1-1.20pm: Support for Income Redistribution in Europe, 2002-2019
This research uses an ESS core question to analyse public support for income redistribution.
The results are based on an article published in Public Opinion Quarterly, where we (Aleš Kudrnáč and Ivan Petrúšek) trace trends in public attitudes towards income redistribution in 18 European countries grouped by five welfare regimes.
While we observe relatively stable aggregate support for income redistribution in most welfare regimes, with a slight increase between 2008/09 and 2012/13, considerable variation among welfare regimes exists.
The highest levels of redistribution support are in the Mediterranean regime, followed by the post-communist countries.
On the other hand, redistribution support was the lowest in liberal and social-democratic regimes during the studied period between 2002 and 2019. Furthermore, we present time series of aggregate redistribution support by income groups.
The strength of the association between household income and redistribution support varies between countries and within welfare regimes.
About the speaker
Ivan Petrúšek is a doctoral candidate in sociology and a junior researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
His research focuses on political participation, political inequality, attitudes towards economic inequalities and income redistribution (in the Czech Republic and Europe).
1.20-1.40pm: Contextual effects of unemployment on redistribution support in Europe
The unemployment rate is one of the key indicators of the business cycle and the structure of the national economy.
This paper studies the contextual effects of unemployment on people's support for income redistribution in 27 European countries.
In particular, the paper studies unemployment's longitudinal and cross-sectional effects on pro-redistributive attitudes.
The three-level within-between random-effects models estimated on nine rounds of the ESS (2002-19) demonstrate a positive cross-sectional effect of unemployment but do not find a significant longitudinal effect.
In other words, countries with higher levels of structural unemployment tend to have more pro-redistributive publics.
However, no generalisable pattern of aggregate public response to within-country changes in unemployment rates exists in Europe.
The article confirms the positive effect of being unemployed on individual redistribution support at the individual level. The strength of this relationship varies across European countries and time points within countries.
About the speaker
Kristýna Bašná holds a MSc. in Sociology from the University of Oxford and a PhD from Charles University in Prague.
Kristyna works at the Czech Academy of Sciences as a senior researcher and focuses on the topic of governance, especially on the welfare state and corruption in post-communist countries.
1.40-2pm: Youth religiosity in Europe over time
Secularisation in Europe is one of the most consensual findings in the sociology of religion today.
Secularisation leads to the decline of adult religiosity through cohort replacement or fuzzy fidelity, meaning that younger generations are increasingly less religious.
Although a few studies have been studying this issue, there is a lack of updated studies that compare youth religiosity in all European countries, distinguishing comprehensively between religions.
Existing studies did not study all countries, are outdated, and/or use few variables to analyse something as complex as religiosity.
This presentation therefore intends to analyse religiosity of young people (15-34 years old) in all European countries. ESS data from 2002-20 are analysed.
Religiosity variables are religious belonging, frequency of religious services attendance, and frequency of prayer, which are synthesised in an index.
With this index, tests are produced, which allow to assemble countries in terms of youth religiosity and type of major religion.
In sum, this presentation offers a broad picture of youth religiosity in Europe over time based on ESS data and its comparison between types of countries.
About the speaker
José Pereira Coutinho, PhD in Sociology (ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal), full member at CITER-UCP, invited assistant professor at FT-UCP.
2-2.20pm: Life satisfaction over time and across generations
Daphne Nicolitsas (University of Crete) will draw on data measuring self-rated life satisfaction from the core questionnaire of ESS rounds 1-10 (2002-22).
The presentation will explore how life-satisfaction and its distribution within and between countries - and across age cohorts - have changed over time.
It will also consider potential explanations for these developments including both variables from the ESS and macro - economic, political, and demographic - related variables to explain cohort differences.
About the speaker
Daphne Nicolitsas is Assistant Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Crete.
Her main research interests lie in wage determination, labor market participation and health and educational inequalities.
2.20-2.40pm: Heterogeneities in the age digital divide: A machine learning approach
Internet use is becoming more and more important to use public and private services, to access information and to maintain social relationships.
Despite the increasing share of older adults who use the Internet, a substantial age digital divide still persists.
Age is, in fact, together with education, income, gender, among some of the most important factors influencing inequalities in the use of digital technologies, in general, and of internet use, in particular.
This study aims at analysing the evolution of the age digital divide over time across some European countries using data from all rounds of the ESS. The analyses will focus on the countries that have participated in all rounds.
Several studies have examined the age digital divide, also based on ESS data. The contribution of this study to the literature is twofold.
First, this is the most comprehensive study covering the longest period of time. Second, and most importantly, by levering on the possibilities offered by Machine Learning (ML) techniques we assess in depth the complex way in which age is related to the use of the Internet.
More specifically, we employ Random Forest to examine a large amount of demographic and socio-economic predictors of internet use.
Our focus will be on the role of age, and on the (possibly complex) way age interacts with other factors, e.g. education, income, partnership and employment status, type of area of residence, in predicting internet use.
The use of ML approach has three main advantages. First, we are able to examine age inequalities in internet use without specifying a-priori cut-off of the age distribution. Instead, we let the algorithm to find the categorization of age that maximize predictive accuracy.
Second, by using normalized variable importance indexes, we assess the relative importance of age compared to other predictors of internet use, and we investigate whether this changes over time and country.
Third, we can also inspect higher-order importance measures to assess interactions between age and other factors in predicting internet use.
This allows assessing whether and how the age digital divide intersects with digital divides along other dimensions. Generalized Mixed-Effects Random Forest are used to formally test the role of country and time variability.
About the speaker
Bruno Arpino is a Full Professor at the Department of Statistics of the University of Padua (Italy) (starting on 1st June 2023).
His previous appointments include the University of Florence (Italy) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF, Spain) where he co-directed the Research and Expertise Centre on Survey Methodology (RECSM).
He obtained a PhD in Applied Statistics from the University of Florence in 2008 with a thesis on causal inference in multilevel observational studies that was awarded by the Italian Statistical Society as the best thesis in Applied Statistics 2007/2008.
His main research interests are in the areas of causal inference, applied statistics, social demography and social gerontology.
From a substantive point of view, he has been studying intergenerational relationships, ageing, social determinants of health, fertility.
He has published more than 70 articles in journals in Demography, Gerontology, Sociology, Statistics such as Demography, Journal of Marriage and Family, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A and C, Statistics in Medicine, Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, European Sociological Review.
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This event has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871063.
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