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Population Europe Newsletter - April 2020

Demography drives your future

This is the newsletter of Population Europe, the network of Europe's leading demographic research centres.

Books and Reports
Books and Reports: Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2019
The Vienna Yearbook of Population Research features peer-reviewed research articles addressing population trends as well as a broad range of theoretical and methodological issues in population research. This Special Issue on Population Ageing and Intergenerational Redistribution sheds light on the ways in which the families and governments of Europe draw on the earnings of the working-age population to support both children and the elderly.
Books and Reports: Comparative Demography of the Syrian Diaspora: European and Middle Eastern Destinations
This book provides a demographic profile of the Syrian diaspora into Europe and identifies the issue of forced migration as a separate and increasingly salient topic within the more general field of migration research.  It describes the progressive increase in numbers of Syrian refugees in different European countries during recent years and gives a demographic profile of the Syrian refugee population.
Books and Reports: COVID-19: A Gender Lens
Disease outbreaks affect women and men differently, and pandemics make existing inequalities for women and girls and discrimination of other marginalized groups such as persons with disabilities and those in extreme poverty, worse. This needs to be considered, given the different impacts surrounding detection and access to treatment for women and men.
Books and Reports: Policy Responses to Low Fertility: How Effective Are They?
This working paper by Tomáš Sobotka, Anna Matysiak and Zuzanna Brzozowska (Wittgenstein Centre for Population and Global Human Capital) aims to summarise the available evidence on the effects of family policies on fertility, combining literature review with empirical illustrations for selected countries and policy interventions. It also discusses the complexity of the policy-fertility links.
Event Review
COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic
Between mid-March to mid-June 2020, we collected the articles below in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a comprehensive list of what our partner institutes and experts wrote on the topic during this time. We thank the Population Europe community for their contributions to this valuable collection of early research on demography and the COVID-19 crisis.
News: ESRC Announces New Funding for Research Methods Training
From the Economic and Social Research Council: We are delighted to announce that we will be investing £2.8m in the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) over 5 years until 2024. Continuing into a new phase, the principal aim of the Centre will be to increase research methods capability in the social sciences and beyond through innovative training and capacity-building activities in the application of core and advanced research methods techniques.
News: Kick-off for Research Project FReDA
12.5 Million Euros provided by the German Government for a yearly Family Demography Panel based on GGS
FReDA – The German family demography panel aims at better understanding changes in family and demographic development and ensuring the long-term sustainability of research in Germany on this subject.
News: European Research Council Advanced Grant Goes to James Vaupel for Work on Lifespan Inequalities
James Vaupel, a top demographer based at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), has received a European Research Council grant for the new project ´Inequalities in Lifespans before and after Retirement: Trailblazing Demographic Theory and Analysis´. The major innovation of Vaupel’s project is the inclusion of individual lifespan inequalities into the theory on mortality at older ages.
Policy Brief
Demographic Change: Are Equal Living Conditions Falling to the Wayside?
How can cities and municipalities respond to these changes and what steps can be taken to maintain the quality of life in regions with a shrinking population? What are the differences in the needs and demands of young generations, young families and older generations? These questions were the subject of a meeting held in Berlin on 20 January 2020 on behalf of a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, in which experts from research, policy, local government and civil society in Germany discussed possible solutions.
Policy Insights
Intra-EU Mobility and the Welfare Magnet Hypothesis: Research demystifies arguments on welfare abuse and points towards the key role played by origin countries
Petra de Jong (NIDI) used a mixed-methods approach to investigate the factors influencing people’s willingness to migrate and whether the receiving country's welfare system can influence individual migration decisions. She found no support for the "welfare magnet hypothesis" in the specific case of labour migrants, though her findings suggest that a generous welfare system in the country of origin can help encourage potential out-migrants to stay.
Pop Digest
The More the Merrier? Perhaps So!
Thijs van den Broek (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Marco Tosi (Collegio Carlo Alberto) analysed data from the Generations & Gender Programme (GGP) of older parents from eight eastern European countries. By using an instrumental variable approach, the authors show that for women, having multiple children had a causal protective effect against loneliness.
The Smoking Epidemic
Of all lifestyle behaviours, smoking caused the most deaths in the last century. Because of the time lag between the act of smoking and dying from smoking, and because males generally take up smoking before females do, male and female smoking epidemiology often follows a typical double wave pattern dubbed the ‘smoking epidemic’. Our research aimed to answer the questions: How are male and female deaths from this epidemic differentially progressing in high-income regions on a cohort-by-age basis? and How have they affected male-female survival differences?
Do Close Individuals Influence Each Other’s Fertility Decisions?
Do family, friends or work colleagues influence each other’s fertility decisions? If so, to what extent does this generate a multiplying effect in societies? In a study published in Demography, Zafer Buyukkececi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Thomas Leopold (University of Amsterdam), Ruben van Gaalen (Statistics Netherlands) and Henriette Engelhardt (University of Bamberg) answered these questions with data from the System of social statistical data sets (SSD), an integrated longitudinal database of various registers and surveys provided by Statistics Netherlands.
Policies or Culture?
How do policy and norms interact and influence labour market participation? To what extent can policies shape the participation of women in the labour market - over and above local social and cultural norms? And are family-friendly policies sufficient to allow women to pursue a full-time career next to their family responsibilities regardless of cultural context?
Linking Educational Expansion With the Rise in Non-Marital Childbearing
Christine Schnor (Université Catholique de Louvain) and Marika Jalovaara (University of Turku) examined the increase in non-marital childbearing over the period 1970–2009. Their descriptive analysis reveals that the overall increase in non-marital childbearing is mainly due to increases in non-marital childbearing rates among the medium-educated population, contradicting previous evidence on the key role played by lower educated individuals.
The Migrant Mortality Advantage
How do the mortality rates of those who migrate differ from those who remain in the origin country? Matthew Wallace and Ben Wilson of the Stockholm University Demography Unit (SUDA) use data on 35 migrant groups living in England and Wales and find that the lower the development level of the origin country, the greater the size of the advantage of migrants in the destination country.
Pathways to Frailty
Poor childhood socioeconomic conditions are associated with higher risk of frailty in old age, find Bernadette van der Linden (NCCR LIVES) et al. By using longitudinal and cross-national data, their study is the first longitudinal and cross-national European study to indicate that pathways to (pre-)frailty already begin during childhood and continue over the life course.
Improving the Ability to Work Longer Through Flexibility
Anushiya Vanajan (NIDI and University of Groningen) and colleagues used data from the Netherlands to compare the associations between three flexible work arrangements and severe health-related work limitations among older workers. Working time flexibility was associated with fewer health-related work limitations, while work place flexibility and phased retirement were not.
Mental Health in Adolescence and Its Role in Family Formation
Miriam Evensen (Norwegian Institute of Public Health) and Torkild Lyngstad (University of Oslo) used population-based data from Norway and found that adolescent males with externalising disorders - such as anxiety and depression - have a lower chance of becoming a parent by age 30 than other men.
Family Ties
In Sweden, Sara Kalucza (Umeå University and University of Queensland) and colleagues found that teen parents go on to have many different types of families and partnerships in adulthood. For male teen parents, their parents' economic resources were more strongly associated with family formation trajectories, while for women, the family structure in which they grew up seemed to play a stronger role.