Material Deprivation of Older Persons in Europe: A Multi-Level Analysis of Institutional Welfare Factors

Lauri Leppik , Tallinn University
Merle Sumil-Laanemaa, Tallinn University
Luule Sakkeus, Tallinn University
Martin Klesment, Tallinn University
Allan Puur, Tallinn University

Over the last decade, there has been an increase in scholarly interest into societal-level factors of material deprivation, driven by the Europe 2020 strategy and its social inclusion targets. But there are still relatively few studies which have investigated the role of these factors among older persons. In this study, we analyse the ways in which cross-national differences in material deprivation of persons aged 65+ may be related to domain-specific welfare arrangements in contemporary Europe. We pose three research questions: i) what is the association in between material deprivation and the generosity of various social programmes that are deemed relevant for economic wellbeing of older persons; ii) what part of the variation in material deprivation of older persons between geographical regions is accounted for by differences in the generosity of social programmes, and iii) whether the association between the generosity of social programmes and material deprivation of older persons is dependent on macroeconomic conditions. The data come from the 5th wave of Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. To investigate the association between the generosity of social programmes and material deprivation we employ multilevel models. We find that the generosity of pension benefits, disability benefits, and the health care expenditures exhibit a significant negative association with material deprivation older persons. The results suggest that this association is not markedly confounded by economic affluence and income equality of the countries. The independent and control variables account for 85% of variance in material deprivation at the level of NUTS-1 regions.

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 Presented in Session 9. Policy Issues