PERCEIVED MAGNITUDE OF UNEMPLOYMENT: A DARK HORSE IN THE LITERATURE ON PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE UNEMPLOYED?
Greta Mackonytė
Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, and IMPALLA, K.U. Leuven, Leuven
Catalina Lomos
Esch-sur-Alzette
Wim van Oorschot
Centre for Sociological Research (CESO), K.U. Leuven, Leuven
Published 2015-01-01
https://doi.org/10.15388/BJPS.2014.3.4872
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How to Cite

Mackonytė G., Lomos C. and van Oorschot W. (2015) “PERCEIVED MAGNITUDE OF UNEMPLOYMENT: A DARK HORSE IN THE LITERATURE ON PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE UNEMPLOYED?”, Baltic Journal of Political Science, 0(3), pp. 27-49. doi: 10.15388/BJPS.2014.3.4872.

Abstract

In this article, we propose a new variable in the formation of individual attitudes towards govern­mental responsibilities to the unemployed – the perceived magnitude of unemployment. Our choice is based on the argument that people’s reactions are strongly influenced by subjective meanings ascribed to social realities. We apply a multilevel analysis approach and mainly use the European Social Survey (2008). Results show that the perceived magnitude of unemployment positively inf­luences public attitudes towards governmental responsibilities to the unemployed, when corrected for a series of relevant individual and national characteristics. Moreover, of all tested measures of actual unemployment rates, only the long-term unemployment rate has a significant effect on atti­tudes towards governmental responsibilities to the unemployed. Interestingly, this effect is negative, which raises questions about how the social realities of unemployment translate into perceptions of unemployment.

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