A Capability Approach to Understand the Scarring Effects of Unemployment and Job Insecurity: Developing the Research Agenda

Egdell, Valerie and Beck, Vanessa (2020) A Capability Approach to Understand the Scarring Effects of Unemployment and Job Insecurity: Developing the Research Agenda. Work, Employment & Society, 34 (5). pp. 937-948. ISSN 0950-0170

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017020909042


Having a poor start in the labour market has a ‘scarring’ effect on future employment and well-being. Indeed, unemployment at any point of the life-course can scar. While there is extensive quantitative research examining scarring effects at the macro- and meso-levels, evidence regarding scarring from the micro-level that provides insights into individual perceptions, values, attitudes and capabilities, and how they shape employment trajectories is lacking. A qualitative approach which avoids the imposition of values and choices onto individuals’ employment trajectories, and accounts more fully for the contextual constraints which shape available options and choices, is argued for. In emphasising people’s substantive freedom of choice, which may be enabled or constrained by contextual conditions, the Capability Approach is proposed as providing a valuable lens to examine complex and insecure labour market transitions. Such an approach stands in contrast to the supply-side focused active labour market policies characteristic of neo-liberal welfare states.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capability Approach, Job insecurity, Scarring effects, Unemployment
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
N600 Human Resource Management
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 10:34
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 14:51
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/42110

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