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PopDigests

PopDigests are short, comprehensive summaries of research results with a link to the original publication (if accessible online). This allows population experts and other interested audiences to be able to easily access information to the latest research results. 

Decisions on sharing parental leave among couples in Austria
A wide range of factors have been identified in influencing parents’ decisions on shared leave, including gender ideologies towards parenting and care work. Masculinity is one of the driving forces in changing gender relations within families, meaning how fathers are positioned and their practices inside a household or a relationship. In this context, little attention has been paid to the extent to which masculinity is jointly constructed by both fathers and mothers, and how these constructions are linked to the use of parental leave. [...]
The impact of one’s month of birth on the chances of being continuously promoted throughout primary education in France
How does a child’s birth month affect their chances of success in primary school? And to what extent is their success dependent on their socioeconomic background? In this study, Fabrizio Bernardi explores the chances of students to be successfully promoted after every grade in primary school in France. The analysis is based on the concept of compensatory advantage, which states that the lives of individuals from privileged socioeconomic backgrounds are less dependent on prior negative events. An early disadvantage is likely to persist or grow larger over time for people from disadvantaged families, whereas it is likely to attenuate for those from more advantaged families. This is because parental investments in upper-class families tend to compensate for an early disadvantage, whereas disadvantages are reinforced among the lower class. [...]
Marriage and divorce of immigrants and descendants of immigrants in Sweden
In how much do immigrants and their descendants in Sweden differ from native Swedes in their marriage formation, divorce and re-marriage? In their paper, Gunnar Andersson, Ognjen Obućina and Kirk Scott demonstrated that there is a big variation among immigrant groups and between migrants and Swedish-born individuals, and that the country of origin matters when explaining this heterogeneity. The authors were able to break down the immigrant population into a fairly large number of country categories, representing a wide variety of migrant backgrounds in terms of the societies and family systems they come from. [...]
Effects of paternity leave schemes offered by employers in Switzerland
What happens to views and ideas about gendered representations and practices of fatherhood if a company allows new fathers to take one month of paid leave in a country with no statutory paternity leave? Isabel Valarino and Jacques-Antoine Gauthier analysed the implementation and use of a one-month paid paternity leave in the urban French-speaking context in Switzerland. [...]
The social gradient of the influence of parental separation on children’s educational outcomes
It is widely recognised that children who experience parental separation during their childhood tend to achieve lower educational outcomes than those who come from intact families. However, the possible differentiation in the way in which such separation effects influence children from different socio-economic backgrounds is much less understood. In his work on Germany, Michael Grätz from the European University Institute looks at children’s social origin to disentangle such heterogeneity and shed further light on how the negative impact of parental separation on their educational outcomes varies. [...]
Changing care ideals in the Netherlands
Traditionally, Dutch long-term care arrangements were mainly provided by the government. But to limit costs, during the past few decades the Netherlands has been reforming its historically generous, public long-term care services. The reforms aimed to encourage people to be more active in caring for dependent relatives. Researcher Thijs van den Broek and his colleagues now show that despite the new policies to promote family engagement in care, care ideals in the Netherlands have shifted away from, rather than towards, the family having a prominent caring role. [...]
Does the Spanish Work Schedule Hurt Family Life?
Many Spanish parents work with a split-shift schedule, which consists of a long lunch break, sometimes two hours, that extends working activities until late in the evening. Empirical evidence by researchers Pablo Gracia (European University Institute) and Matthijs Kalmijn (University of Amsterdam) suggests that this schedule has negative consequences on parents’ time in family and child-related activities. [...]
Eastern Europeans age faster than Western Europeans
Do different ageing patterns exist in different European areas, and is there a difference between East and West? To study the distinctive patterns of ageing by gender, and education in 16 European countries, Warren C. Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov use prospective ages in place of chronological ages. Prospective ages take changes in life expectancy into account. Prospective ages are based on how many years people have ahead of them, while chronological age is the number of years people have already lived. Sanderson and Scherbov confirm that one important feature influencing ageing is peoples’ education: overall, differences between men and women tend to diminish as education levels increase. Across Eastern and Western Europe, ageing differences tend to disappear as education increases. [...]
Measuring the declining workforce across Europe
In the years to come, the size of the working-age populations (WAP) will decline in most countries of the European Union. This might have a negative impact on economic growth measured as the increase in the total volume of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). At the same time, the share of the working-age population will start to decline in all EU countries. The shrinking share of the population in their working ages is called the demographic burden and might have a negative impact on the standard of living, measured as GDP per capita. Nicole van der Gaag and Joop de Beer analyse how population aging influences labour input by studying the magnitude of the demographic burden and examining changes in employment that might be sufficient to compensate for its downward impact in 27 European countries. [...]
The relationship between obesity and economic development may depend on education
Obesity levels have increased remarkably over the last thirty years throughout the globe. At the same time, there are considerable variations in the proportion of overweight adults across countries. So what are the factors behind this global divergence? Is economic development one of the drivers of such differences? [...]

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