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A multi-disciplinary approach to explaining workless-ness in Britain

A multi-disciplinary approach to explaining workless-ness in Britain

Cagliesi, Gabriella, Hawkes, Denise and Tookey, Max (2017) A multi-disciplinary approach to explaining workless-ness in Britain. International Journal of Social Economics, 44 (7). pp. 937-959. ISSN 0306-8293 (doi:

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The purpose of this study is to adopt the principles of labour economics, behavioural economics (BE) and social economics (SE) to explain an agent’s functioning over employment, nonemployment and across various inactivity categories in the labour market. An empirical methodological approach has been adopted, where data from the British Household Panel Survey (2009) has been collected to formulate two types of models: the first type explaining non-employment and employment between genders, the second type investigating the subset of non-employed people and different categories of non-employment (such as employment (unemployment, students, disabled, early retired and carers), differentiating for gender and age characteristics. We found that labour market opportunities, choices and achievements are all affected by the interrelations and interactions of individual’s demographic and psychological characteristics (such as age, gender, heuristic, perceptions, beliefs, attitude, goals and ambitions) with external factors (such as geographical, socio-cultural and economic conditions). This study makes a unique contribution to labour economics as we abandon the traditional welfare approach and use a more general framework of capabilities and refined functioning (proposed by Amartya Sen) to interpret how different types of constraints - ranging from socioeconomic conditions and environmental background to specific features of individual processes of choices and decision making- affect preferences and functionings. The influences of "under-employment" and "career markers" will also be evaluated in the context of this study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Labour economics, Behavioural economics, Gender, Capabilities
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 14 May 2018 09:15

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