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Global Economies of Care

 

Working papers

Accessing information and resources via arrival infrastructures: migrant newcomers in London.
Susanne Wessendorf
Working paper 57

Accessing information and resources via arrival infrastructures: migrant newcomers in London

In much public discourse, it is assumed that migrants in Europe settle into contexts populated by national majorities or co-ethnics. However, today, new migrants often move into areas which have already been settled by earlier migrants of various backgrounds. Such areas have also been described as ‘arrival areas’, often situated within ‘arrival cities’ which have seen immigration (and emigration) over many decades. They are characterized by a wealth of ‘arrival infrastructures’, consisting of concentrations of institutions, organisations, social spaces and actors which specifically facilitate arrival. Arrival infrastructures comprise, for example, shops as information hubs, religious sites, language classes, hairdressers etc., often set up by people who themselves have a migration background. This article looks at the interactions and transfer of knowledge and resources between long-established migrants and more recent newcomers through arrival infrastructures. By drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in East London, and using the example of two recently arrived female migrants, it investigates how newcomers access settlement information and the role played by arrival infrastructures in this process. It specifically focuses on newcomers who arrive with few social contacts and for whom physically visible arrival infrastructures like libraries and shops are particularly relevant. The article aims to open up debate about arrival infrastructures, their manifestation in different urban contexts, and their relation to both new forms of solidarity as well as new and ongoing forms of exploitation between long-established residents and newcomers.

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Subjective Poverty as perceived lasting social insecurity: lessons from a French survey on poverty, inequality and the welfare state (2015-2018)
Nicolas Duvoux and Adrien Papuchon
Working paper 36

Subjective Poverty as perceived lasting social insecurity: lessons from a French survey on poverty, inequality and the welfare state (2015-2018)


Literature has long been attentive to the study of subjective happiness or well-being. Key questions developed in the late 1970’s have recently been framed as indicators of subjective economic stress or used to build “consensual poverty lines”. Yet, these notions differ from an authentic – i.e. direct – measure of subjective poverty. We use 2015-2018 French data to determine the share of the population who considers itself as poor and study its social composition. Our results demonstrate that class, family composition and income instability matter as determinants of subjective poverty. The key feature of the group of those who consider themselves as poor is a degraded attitude towards their own future. Finally, we propose a sociological understanding of our subjective poverty indicator.

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Ethnic minorities’ reactions to newcomers in East London: symbolic boundaries and convivial labour
Susanne Wessendorf
Working paper 35

Ethnic minorities’ reactions to newcomers in East London: symbolic boundaries and convivial labour

In much public discourse on immigrants in Western Europe, perceptions towards newcomers are discussed in relation to what white national majorities think. However, today, new migrants often move into places which are already settled by previous migrants. Surprisingly little is known about the local experiences, perceptions and attitudes towards newcomers among long-established ethnic minorities in areas which they have made their home, and where they predominate not just in numbers but also by way of shops, religious sites, school population, etc. Based on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork in East London (UK), this paper looks at long-established ethnic minority residents’ attitudes towards newcomers from Eastern Europe, and how these are shaped by their own histories of exclusion. By bringing together theories on symbolic boundary making with the concept of ‘convivial labour’ (Nobel 2009; Wise 2016), it shows how experiences of stigmatization impact on perceptions of white newcomers, and how these perceptions are characterized by a combination of empathy and resentment.

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The construction of the DALY: Implications and anomalies
Sudhir Anand and Sanjay G. Reddy
Working paper 34

The construction of the DALY: Implications and anomalies

The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of aggregate ill-health whose construction depends on a counterfactual – the number of life-years a person could have expected to live had she or he not died. There are two ways of specifying the DALY counterfactual to estimate years of life lost (YLL) – by employing an ‘exogenous’ or an ‘endogenous’ life table. An exogenous life table is independent of the mortality risks experienced by the population whose health (longevity) is being assessed, whereas an endogenous life table is composed of precisely these risks.

Exogenous life tables have been used to construct the DALY in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) studies – with different exogenous life tables used in the GBD 1990 and GBD 2010 (and later) exercises. However, an endogenous life table is more appropriate for predicting life-years lost from premature mortality in any given country, and allocating resources through health interventions there on the basis of DALYs averted.

Whether an exogenous or an endogenous life table is used, anomalies can arise. Furthermore, the approach adopted in GBD 2010 onwards adds special difficulties of its own. GBD 2010 and later GBDs use an exogenous reference life table which is the same for men and women. This leads to an underestimation of the disease burden of women relative to that of men.

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Group right and gender justice: exploring tensions within an indigenous community in India
Naila Kabeer, Nivedita Narain, Varnica Arora and Vinitika Lal
Working paper 33

Group rights and gender justice: exploring tensions within an indigenous community in India

This paper seeks to address some of the tensions identified in the political literature between group rights, which allows historically marginalized communities some measure of self-governance in determining its own rules and norms, and the rights of marginalized sub-groups, such as women, within these communities.  As the literature notes, community norms frequently uphold patriarchal structures which define women as inferior to men, assign them a subordinate status within the community and cut them off from the individual rights enjoyed by women in other sections of society. 

There is a tendency within this literature to assume that if women within these communities fail to exercise ‘voice’ by protesting gender injustice within their community or choose ‘exit’ by giving up their membership of the community, they can be deemed to have consented to their subordinate status within the community. Yet, as feminists have pointed out, the capacity for neither voice nor exit can be taken for granted. Indeed, community norms may be organized in ways that explicitly deny women any voice in its decision-making forums as well as the resources they would need to survive outside the community.

This paper draws on quantitative and qualitative research among the Gond, an Adivasi or indigenous community in the Chattisgarh state in India to explore this debate in greater detail. The Gond community, like other Adivasi groups in India, have long been among the poorest and most socially marginalized sections of the Indian population. In recognition of their historical disadvantage, the Indian constitution allows these communities a degree of self-governance within the territories in which they are concentrated. As our research shows, this has allowed these communities to uphold norms that systematically discriminate against women, exercising greater controls over their marital, sexual and reproductive behaviour than men, denying them equal access to community resources and excluding them from community decision making forums.

Given the strength of the forces within the community militating against their capacity for either voice or exit, the question motivating the research was whether external organizations could make a difference to one or other or both.  Our research set out to answer this question by exploring the impacts of two external development organizations, BIHAN and PRADAN, that sought to work with women within these communities, organizing them into self-help groups in order to promote access to new financial resources and livelihood skills as well as their political capabilities within the community and government decision-making domains. We ask whether these organizations were effective in their objectives, whether they had any impact on women’s voice and exit options and whether the kind of organization they were made a difference to the impacts that we found.

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Inequality Interactions
Paul Segal with Mike Savage
Working paper 27

Inequality Interactions

This paper elaborates a framework for understanding inequalities that is multi-dimensional, inter-disciplinary, and dynamic. We first clarify the conceptual relationship between individual and categorical inequalities as studied by economists, sociologists, and other social scientists. We then present a set of new concepts. Inequality diversion is defined as a reduction in one form of inequality that is dependent on sustaining, or worsening, another form of inequality. We show how it arises out of cases in the literature on intersectionality, and that it also characterizes the transition to increasing meritocracy, and the relationship between increasing professional female labour market participation and domestic service. Inequality re-ordering is defined as a change in categorical or group inequalities that leaves individual inequality unchanged, such as when elites become more categorically diverse without reducing their economic or social distance from non-elites. We use these concepts to interrogate the potential of levelling up and progressive redistribution for inequality reduction. Exploring these relationships helps us understand trade-offs and complementarities in tackling inequalities.

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Recasting Human Development Measures
Sudhir Anand
Working paper 23

Recasting Human Development Measures


The UNDP introduced three new human development measures in its 2010 HumanDevelopmentReport, which it has since continued to estimate and report on annually.  These measures are the geometrically-averaged Human Development Index (HDI), the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), and the Gender Inequality Index (GII).  This paper critically reviews these measures in terms of their purpose, concept, construction, properties, and data requirements.  It shows that all three measures suffer from serious defects, and concludes that two of them are not fit for purpose.  The paper suggests how HDI and GII might be recast to overcome the problems identified and better reflect the purposes for which they were devised. 

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The Stakes of Trade Policy: domestic and global inequalities
Sarah Goff
Working paper 22

The Stakes of Trade Policy: domestic and global inequalities

Economic nationalism is on the rise, while decision-making is floundering within multilateral and regional trade institutions. As stakes ‘take back control’ over their trade policies, what does this imply for domestic and global inequalities? The paper will clarify how a state’s trade policy can affect what matters about domestic inequalities, global procedural fairness, and global distributional inequality. A state should aim to: i) pursue gains in national income, without making excessive contributions of its ‘policy space’ on issues that matter for disadvantaged groups; ii) refrain from abusing its unilateral decision-making power over its trading partners; and iii) prioritize trade liberalization with poor countries that have the competencies to take advantage of economic opportunities and that are likely to share the benefits of prosperity with disadvantaged citizens. There is room for a state’s trade policy to represent improvements over existing multilateral and regional institutions with respect to these aims, although improvements are by no means guaranteed.

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Private Renting: Can social landlords help?
Anne Power, Alice Belotti, Laura Lane and Bert Provan
Working paper 21

Private Renting: can social landlords help?

Private renting is a massively expanding sector, and has now overtaken social housing to become the second largest housing tenure in Britain after owner-occupation. Private renting plays a crucial role in housing many groups who can neither afford to buy, and are unable to access social housing. Vulnerable and homeless people are more and more housed in privately rented accommodation. However, the private rented sector is weakly regulated and offers little security to tenants.

This report explores how social landlords are increasingly contributing to the growth of private renting in a variety of different ways. Social landlords have experience in managing rented housing and a strong track record in providing long-term, secure, decent homes. They have an ethical purpose and a core mission to house people. Their involvement in the private rented sector provides an opportunity to make the PRS more stable, secure, and affordable. As well-established landlords and housing managers, social landlords can provide decent quality and secure homes to the people who need them within the private sector. As institutional investors, private renting at sub-market or intermediate rent becomes possible and social landlords should not seek to maximise profits as their main purpose. We also look at how local authorities can improve the private rented sector, looking at case studies of Newham, Liverpool, and other areas that have established local housing companies, have increased their regulatory role with licensing schemes and enforcement powers, as well as how the private rented sector differs in the devolved nations.

The overall conclusion of our report is that private renting by social landlords can deliver good housing for households in need of a home. This activity provides decent private rental homes; and surpluses to cross-subsidise social housing. We believe that through the development of private rented accommodation and the regulation and licensing of the private rented sector, social landlords and local authorities are able to provide a more social model of private renting. 

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Inequalities in the application of welfare sanctions in Britain
Robert de Vries, Aaron Reeves and Ben Geiger
Working paper 15

Inequalities in the application of welfare sanctions in Britain

Unemployed people in Britain who are in receipt of government welfare benefits can have these benefits stopped if they fail to comply with certain conditions. Such a stoppage is known as a 'benefit sanction'. This working paper has two aims: 1) to provide an introduction to the British system of sanctions, specifically as it applies to unemployed people who are not disabled, and ii) to identify demographic inequalities in the application of sanctions. Using data published by the UK Department of Work and Pensions, we find that some groups of unemployed claimants (younger people, men, and ethnic minorities) are at substantially higher risk of experiencing a sanction. This paper will be updated at a later date with analyses investigating the drivers of this inequality.

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Intersecting Inequalities and the Sustainable Development Goals: insights from Brazil
Naila Kabeer and Ricardo Santos
Working paper 14

Intersecting Inequalities and the Sustainable Development Goals: insights from Brazil

The international development community has long been pre-occupied with the reduction of absolute income poverty, relegating concerns with inequality to the margins of its policy agenda. The Millennium Development Goals, for instance, which were adopted by 189 world leaders at the 2000 Millennium Summit, defined the reduction of absolute poverty by 2015 as its overarching goal. However, concerns about the dramatic rise in income inequality across the world have been growing over the last few decades and came to the forefront of public consciousness in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008. At the same time, assessments of national progress on the Millennium Development Goals made it clear that income inequality alone did not explain the distribution of gains and losses across countries. Rather it was the intersection of income inequality, marginalized social identities and, very often, locational disadvantage which led to the systematic exclusion of certain groups. In recognition of this, the Sustainable Development Goals which became the basis of the new post-2015 international development agenda now includes a commitment to the reduction of income and other inequalities, summarized as the principle of ‘leave no one behind’. Our paper uses national data from Brazil between 2002 and 2013 to examine retrospectively how it has performed on some of the indicators relating to the inclusive principles articulated by the SDGs. We have selected this period in Brazil because at a time when income inequalities were rising in most countries of the world, they were declining in Brazil. Our paper examines the extent to which this decline in income inequality was accompanied by a decline in intersecting inequalities and explores some of the economic, political and social explanations given for the country’s performance. 

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The impact of benefit sanctioning on food insecurity: a dynamic cross-area study of food bank usage in the UK
Rachel Loopstra, Jasmine Fledderjohann, Aaron Reeves and David Stuckler

The impact of benefit sanctioning on food insecurity: a dynamic cross-area study of food bank usage in the UK

Household food security, which may be compromised by short-term income shocks, is a key determinant of health. Since 2012, the UK witnessed marked increases in the rate of ‘sanctions’ applied to unemployment insurance claimants, which stop payments to claimants for a minimum of four weeks. In 2013, over 1 million sanctions were applied, potentially leaving people facing economic hardship and driving them to use food banks. The paper tests this hypothesis by linking data from the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network with records on sanctioning rates across 259 local authorities in the UK. 

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The measurement of health inequalities: does status matter?
Joan Costa-Font and Frank A. Cowell
Working paper 6

The measurement of health inequalities: does status matter?

This paper examines several status concepts to examine self-assessed health inequality using the sample of world countries contained in the World Health Survey.  The authors also perform correlation and regression analysis on the determinants of inequality estimates assuming an arbitrary cardinalisation.  The findings indicate major heterogeneity in health inequality estimates depending on the status approach, distributional-sensitivity parameter and measure adopted.  The authors find evidence that pure health inequalities vary with median health status alongside measures of government quality.

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