Polarization or “Squeezed Middle” in the Great Recession?: A Comparative European Analysis of the Distribution of Economic Stress

Date: 01 August 2017

This paper analyses variation in the impact of the Great Recession on economic stress across income classes for a range of advanced European countries. Our analysis shows Iceland, Ireland and Greece to be quite distinctive in terms of increases in their multidimensional income, material deprivation and economic stress profiles. Between 2008 and 2012 these countries moved from being predictably located within anticipated welfare regimes to becoming clear outliers. For this set of counties, each of which was exposed to different but severe forms of economic shock, trends in income class polarisation versus middle class squeeze were variable. Each exhibited substantial increases in levels of economic stress. However, ...

Brian Nolan Christopher T. Whelan Bertrand Maître

Employment, Equity and Growth

Polarization or “Squeezed Middle” in the Great Recession?: A Comparative European Analysis of the Distribution of Economic Stress


Type: paper

Whelan, C.T., Nolan, B. & Maitre, B. (2017). 'Polarization or Squeezed Middle in the Great Recession?: A Comparative European Analysis of the Distribution of Economic Stress'. Social Indicators Research, 133(1). pp.163–184.


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