The Impact of Public Safety on Subjective Wellbeing in Comparative Perspective

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:30
Location: Hörsaal 12 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Peter ROBERT, Institute for Political Science, Centre for Social Sciences, HAS, Budapest, Hungary, TARKI Social Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary
For contributing to the topic of the session, the paper investigates the impact of victimization and safety on wellbeing. The European Social Survey data are used for this purpose. Two questions can serve as main predictors: 1) Becoming victim of a burglary or assault in the last 5 years: percent of yes answers vary between 8 and 29 in ESS6; 2) How safe do you feel walking alone after dark: measured on a 4 point scale, means vary between 1.6 and 2.5 in ESS6. In general, two dependent variables can be used: satisfaction with life and happiness – both measured on a scale of 0-10.

A pooled file of ESS rounds allows studying the relationship between these two independent and dependent variables. Given the measurement level of the dependent variables, OLS regression is an option. The model will controll for other individual characteristics like labor market situation, education, financial situation, urban-rural difference, gender, age, religiosity, subjective health, etc. usually taken into account when analyzing determinants of SWB. The pooled ESS dataset allows differentiating between country types like: social democratic (DK, FI, NO, SE), liberal (UK, IE), corporatist (BE, CH, DE-w, NL), Mediterranean (ES, FR, PT), post-socialist (DE-e, HU, PL, SI). Number of countries is restricted to those having data from all rounds. The paper focuses on the variation between these country types. Though timeframe in ESS is relatively short (2000-2014), a limited analysis of temporal changes can also be included.

As a refinement, using the extensive module on wellbeing in ESS6, dimensions of wellbeing can be detected (cognitive, affective, hedonic, eudaimonic) by factor analysis. A further analysis can investigate a) the difference in how safety influences these various aspects of wellbeing; b) the difference between the country types in the impact of safety on SWB.