'Economic insecurity' is rarely discussed in the professional economics literature and has received little emphasis in recent economic policy making in OECD nations. This paper argues that economic insecurity should receive more attention because it affects individual well-being, personal identity and labour market behaviour - and because the welfare state was motivated largely by a desire to decrease insecurity. The paper then examines trends in the economic implications of four sources of economic insecurity: illness, unemployment, 'widowhood' and old age, and discusses the differences between 'economic insecurity' and 'risk', before turning to a discussion of how best to measure economic insecurity.
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