Seaside flowers

Social conditions, such as income, employment and family resources, matter for health, and health matters for participation in society, employment and economic well-being. These associations are well known. How welfare and labour market policies influence them in a life course perspective, is less studied and less understood.

What policies foster labour market participation and self-provision among people with health limitations? To what extent is the welfare state able to buffer against detrimental health effects of critical life events? Can welfare policies prevent cumulative disadvantage and vicious circles of poor health and critical life events? What is the role of welfare policies in shaping social and gender inequalities in these associations?

The purpose of the proposed project is to contribute with new insights about these issues. The project will take full advantage of the unique register information on socioeconomic conditions, social security and health, available in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. These data will be utilised for studying these themes with a view both on changes over time and developments over the life course.

The WELLIFE project has three objectives.

First, we will study whether social policy, including labour market policies, modifies the extent to which the onset of illness affect living conditions, in particular employment.

Second, we investigate the role of social policy in the extent to which critical life events, such as job loss, divorce or health shocks within the close family, translate into poor health and worse living conditions for parents and children.

Third, WELLIFE will analyse prevalent trajectories experienced by people who fall ill, lose their job, or experience divorce, etc. in different welfare settings, in order to better understand the mechanisms at play in a life course perspective, and the formation of gender and social inequalities.

01.01.2019-31.06.2022: Nordforsk, Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare “Nordic Register Pilots” (Grant No. 83540).