Insecure workers, union membership and new social policy ideas

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


This dissertation examines insecure workers’ union memberships and attitudes towards new welfare programmes. To compare union memberships and policy preferences among different types of insecure workers, this research classifies these individuals into four different groups: part-time employees, temporary workers, low-skilled workers in the service sector, and solo self-employed workers.

The first sub-study explores the unionisation of insecure workers by European industrial relations regime by estimating multilevel binary logistic models with the data from the European Social Survey Round 5 (2010). The second one investigates insecure workers’ choices regarding unemployment insurance and union membership after the reform of the Finnish Ghent system in 1992 by analysing the pooled Finnish Income Distribution Survey data from 2000 to 2012. On the other hand, the third and fourth sub-studies to examine insecure workers’ preferences for new social policy ideas concentrate on universal basic income and social investment policy for unemployment, respectively. To address these topics, both sub-studies estimate binary logistic regression models with clustered standard errors and country dummies by using the data from the European Social Survey Round 8 (2016)

The first sub-study reveals that insecure workers’ inclination to join a union varies according to their form of employment and the industrial relations regime to which they belong. The second sub-study illustrates that in the transformed Finnish Ghent system, both part-time and temporary employees are inclined to have no union membership, whereas low-skilled service workers do not make significantly different choices from other employees. In addition, the third sub-study shows that only temporary employees tend to have more favourable attitudes among different groups of insecure workers. The fourth sub-study demonstrates that in a budgetary trade-off scenario between social protection and social investment, part-time permanent employees are inclined to be more supportive of social investment policy, whereas part-time temporary workers are less likely to support it. On the other hand, full-time temporary employees and solo self-employed workers do not exhibit significantly different preferences from standard employees.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Helsinki
  • Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas, Supervisor
  • Melin, Harri, Supervisor, External person
  • Böckerman, Petri, Supervisor, External person
  • Kuitto, Kati, Supervisor, External person
Award date19 Mar 2021
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-951-51-6333-2
Electronic ISBNs978-951-51-6334-9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Fields of Science

  • 5142 Social policy
  • 5141 Sociology
  • 5171 Political Science

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