Young people and their parents
The second policy text presented by diaNEOsis, entitled “Youth, unemployment and intergenerational transfer of opinions” attempts to extend the analysis to more “subjective” characteristics of young people, such as the beliefs and perceptions of themselves, but also of their parents (or of the people that the young people themselves judged to have had the greatest influence on them). That is, it tries to answer questions such as: Is whether a young person is employed or not linked to their views on inequalities? Do unemployed or employed youth agree with their parents’ views on meritocracy at work?
The data used by the researchers comes from a survey carried out as part of the European research project CUPESSE, on young adults, their financial situation, values and behaviours. This is a questionnaire that was used in the same period for surveys in 11 countries. diaNEOsis was the organization that undertook the financing of the Greek part of the project.
The poll, carried out in Greece by the MRB among 1,538 young people and around 500 of their parents in the fall of 2016, was also commented on in the public debate at that time. The analysis published now attempts to delve deeper into the research and uncover correlations or differences between unemployed and employed youth, and between youth and their parents. At the same time, it attempts a comparison with the results in the other 9 European countries where the same research was conducted (Austria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic).
Before reading some indicative results and conclusions of the survey, it makes sense to remember the situation the country was in at the end of 2016, when the poll was conducted. On the one hand, the darkest moment of the recession in 2011-12 had passed, as well as the drama and uncertainty of the summer of 2015. However, the country was still in a state of memorandum (of the third) and fiscal restraint, while unemployment of of young people remained at high levels. In this wider environment the Greek youth and their parents were asked to answer questions about income inequalities, about social justice, about the importance of work, about the welfare state, about the role of the sexes in the family, and about some basic characteristics of employment.
After analyzing dozens of questions, and after “isolating”, with statistical methods, their results from other possible influences (gender, education, etc.), the researchers concluded into three main categories of conclusionseach of which addresses a different category of questions.
1. Greek youth seem to agree quite a bit with their parents (that is, they were influenced by them, or possibly influenced them) on three main social issues that are also related to work. Unemployed youth were more likely to identify with their parents in their view of government intervention in the face of income inequality. That is, they are more likely to state, similarly to their parents, that they agree or disagree with the opinion that “the government should take measures to reduce income inequality”. Accordingly, all young people (but the unemployed much more) were more likely to identify with their parents in the opinion that “for a society to be just, the differences in the standard of living should be small”. Parents who agreed with this view had children who also agreed – and vice versa. Furthermore, working youth were more likely to identify with their parents in their view of meritocracy, that is, to agree or disagree with the view that “those who have put in more effort and have more talent should be paid more.” On the contrary, in all three cases, whether the young person answering is unemployed or not does not seem to play any role in the answer he gives. That is, one cannot conclude e.g. that unemployed young people demand more measures on inequalities or that employed young people believe more in meritocracy.