Povertà e deprivazione in Italia, Spagna, Francia e Germania: una disamina degli aspetti concettuali, metodologici e dei meccanismi generativi

Carrossa, Sabrina (2011) Povertà e deprivazione in Italia, Spagna, Francia e Germania: una disamina degli aspetti concettuali, metodologici e dei meccanismi generativi. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


The process of European integration forces the scientific community to reflect on the importance of the national level as the appropriate one for the analyses of social inequalities. Especially among the studies on poverty and deprivation there is growing concern about the choice of the proper geographical reference. Indeed, within the research on poverty, beside the ‘traditional’ approach based on a national poverty line other studies rely on different geographical thresholds, either supra-national (the pan-european approach) or sub-national (the regional approach). I aimed to add to this debate an additional level of investigation, centred on the theoretical relevance of trans-national clusters of European regions that is cluster of regions that could belong to different nation-states but that nonetheless show more economic, social and institutional similarities than those existing among different ‘areas’ belonging to the same nation-state. In order to analyse the micro and macro determinants of poverty, I organized this thesis balancing both theoretical and methodological aspects. The first chapter reviews the most important literature on social inequality, distinguishing between the micro-level perspective (i.e. individualization theory versus cumulative risks theory) and, the macro-level one emphasizing, above all, the institutional rules in shaping social inequalities underlined by the political economy, the economic sociology, the urban sociology and the economic theories. In the second chapter I overviewed, discussed and problematized the several conceptualizations, operationalisations and measurations of poverty, therefore it represents a theoretical and methodological contribution at the contemporary debate on poverty as well as an important starting point for the analysis presented in the three empirical chapters. From a methodological point of view, on the one hand I used complex statistics techniques (the multiple imputation methods) to create an high-quality database for the analysis of poverty by a multidimensional, longitudinal and regional-comparative perspective. On the other one, this thesis is valuable for using cutting edge techniques in the area of poverty and social exclusion. More specifically, in the first two empirical chapters (Ch. 3 and 4) I specified several multilevel models (random intercept and random slope too) in order to disentangle the household and individual level determinants of poverty from the macro-level ones, and also to describe which of the macro-institutional perspective (national, European, regional or trans-national) is the most useful in describing e predicting the distribution of poverty within the European regions analysed. While in the last empirical chapter (Ch. 5) I specified an econometric panel model to specifically analyse the true state dependence in poverty; so doing I focused also at the social exclusion phenomena. Furthermore, every model presented in the three empirical chapters has been specified using several operationalization of poverty (that is, using the national, European, regional and trans-national poverty lines). The main conclusions of this thesis are linked with the validity and reliability of the relative poverty measure and the institutional concepts of welfare-states, economic regions and trans-national clusters. First of all, it seems that the relative measure of poverty is a good one to predict and describe the phenomena. Indeed, the micro-determinant of poverty are not affected by the poverty line (national, European, regional or trans-national) used in the models proposed. Obviously the number of people at risk of poverty are affected by such definitions, but the relative structure of relation among the individual and household determinant are not. Secondly, it seems that the macro-determinant of poverty are affected by the poverty line definition and, above all, the variation produced on the country-variables effect is not coherent with the welfare state interpretation of poverty and social exclusion. On the contrary, the regional and the trans-national perspectives effects are more stable regardless the poverty line adopted, and they help to capture the most part of the regional variance among the European regions analysed. Furthermore, I pointed out the interaction effect between the individual characteristics linked to labour market position (i.e. unemployed status) and the regional framework: the random slope models show the significant impact of the regional context in shaping the social exclusion experience. Finally, it is important that these results are coherent with both multilevel and panel models.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Sociology and Social Research (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/07 SOCIOLOGIA GENERALE
Repository Staff approval on:17 Jun 2011 13:06

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