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The Effect of Job Insecurity and Life Uncertainty on Everyday Consumptions and Broader Life Projects during COVID-19 Pandemic

Antonio Chirumbolo, Antonino Callea and Flavio Urbini
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Antonio Chirumbolo: Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
Antonino Callea: Department of Humanities, LUMSA University, 00193 Rome, Italy
Flavio Urbini: Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy

IJERPH, 2021, vol. 18, issue 10, 1-20

Abstract: Contemporary society is characterized by a high level of uncertainty in many domains of everyday life. The COVID-19 pandemic has generated a deep economic crisis, exacerbating worldwide feelings of uncertainty and precarity. Individuals with insecure jobs have (and will) probably suffered the most from this situation. Workers with higher job insecurity have poorer psychological and physical health, display more negative work attitudes and are less satisfied about their life. However, much less is known about the impact of job insecurity and life uncertainty on consumer behavior. Using the Conservation of Resources theory as a framework, the present study examines a model in which job insecurity and life uncertainty would have a negative effect on everyday consumptions and broader life projects of individuals. Data collection was conducted in Italy in June and July 2020 during COVID-19 pandemic, in the immediate aftermath of the national lockdown. In a sample of 830 workers, the results of a mediation analysis showed that job insecurity and life uncertainty had a detrimental impact of consumer behaviors, since they were significantly associated with higher propensity to sacrifice and reduce everyday short-term consumptions (e.g., buying food) and greater perceived unaffordability of broader long-term life projects (e.g., buying a house).

Keywords: job insecurity; life uncertainty; existential precarity; consumer behaviors; COVID-19 pandemic (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I I1 I3 Q Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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