Information about the Project

Research project

‘Experiences on the Labor Market, Risk of Unemployment and Probability of Returning to Work, 1988-2008: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses’ (NONWORK)

The project was carried out in the framework of the 2010 – 2013 grant received from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (1353/B/H03/2010/39; PLN 100,000).

The research team combined quantitative and qualitative data in an innovative study of moving in and out of unemployment, and of the major determinants of finding and keeping a job following an unemployment spell. The Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988-2008, conducted on representative national sample of Polish citizens in five-year intervals, was the source for the quantitative information, which served two purposes. First, POLPAN allowed for statistical investigation of the odds of entering and exiting unemployment, since respondents provide their full employment history, together with all their career interruptions. second, POLPAN had provided the frame for selecting individuals with whom in-depth interviews about coping with unemployment, especially finding or not finding a job, were conducted.

Two major questions were: ‘How do people affected by structural unemployment differ from others without work?’ and ‘Why do some people find a job, while others remain unemployed for long periods of time?’

The research team identified four groups of respondents: (i-a) those finding themselves in unemployment due to the structural transformation of the economy, or (i-b) unemployed for other reasons, and (ii-a) people who exited unemployment, or (ii-b) did not do so.

In addition to the four-group main sample (N=139), we also identified housewives (N=39) and respondents who, at the time of the 2008 POLPAN fieldwork were abroad (N=57). The data from all these interviews provide the base for analyzing how men and women from different groups and at different stages of their careers define their life situations and what mechanisms they employ for dealing with unemployment.

Project proposal in Polish (PDF)