A Longitudinal Perspective on Quality of Life in Times of Crisis: Switzerland from the 1990s to Nowadays

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:10 AM
Room: Booth 53
Oral Presentation
Christian SUTER , Department of Sociology, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Eric CRETTAZ , Graduate School of Social Work Geneva, Switzerland
Jehane MOUSSA , University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Laura RAVAZZINI , Sociology, Université de Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
During the past twenty years Switzerland experienced three major recessions and periods of economic slowdown: the prolonged and deep economic stagnation of 1992-95 – the country’s most pronounced recession of the post-war period – and the comparatively mild two recessions of 2002-03 and in the wake of the global financial economic crisis of 2008-09. During these periods of economic crisis, unemployment and poverty increased, particularly during the crisis of the 1990s, when unemployment soared from its previously extremely low level. The proposed paper aims to explore the consequences of recessions and economic downturns on various dimensions of quality of life by comparing the three historical periods of economic stagnations.

In order to analyse how quality of life has evolved since the early 1990s, we use various longitudinal databases, notably the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS, available from 1991 onwards), the Swiss Household Panel (SHP, available from 1999 onwards), and the Swiss Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (CH-SILC, available from 2008 onwards). Various indictors of quality of life, poverty, deprivation and inequality, as well as of subjective well-being will be calculated in order to measure and compare quality of life during different recession periods. Our empirical analysis will explore the impact of economic crises for different population groups as well as for various quality of life domains (objective and subjective indicators). First results suggest negative crisis impacts on quality of life and subjective well-being particularly for specific vulnerable population groups.