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Header Newsletter

Population Europe Newsletter - December 2019

Demography drives your future

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

Books and Reports
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Books and Reports: Ageing and Employment Policies: Working Better With Age
10/09/19
People today are living longer than ever before, but what is a boon for individuals can be challenging for societies. If nothing is done to change existing work and retirement patterns, the number of older inactive people who will need to be supported by each worker could rise by around 40% between 2018 and 2050 on average in the OECD area. This would put a brake on rising living standards as well as enormous pressure on younger generations who will be financing social protection systems. Improving employment prospects of older workers will be crucial.
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Books and Reports: The Challenging Roles of Informal Carers
10/09/19
There are different approaches to responding to the growing longterm care needs of ageing populations across the UNECE region. Societies rely to a varying extent on the unpaid labour of informal carers who cover an estimated 70 to 95 percent of all care needs. While informal unpaid care saves public spending on formal care services, the reliance on informal care has many hidden costs.
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Books and Reports: Policy Brief: “Broadband Internet, Fertility and Work from Home”
09/10/19
The Sociology of Development section of the American Sociological Association has published a policy brief written by members of the Population Europe network: Francesco C. Billari (Bocconi University), Osea Giuntella (University of Pittsburgh), and Luca Stella (Bocconi University and Institute of Labor Economics, IZA). This brief, "Broadband Internet, Fertility and Work from Home", uses data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to look at the possible impacts of access to high speed Internet on fertility choices in a low fertility setting.
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Books and Reports: Causal Inference Book
29/10/19
Jamie Robins and Miguel Hernán at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have written a book that provides a cohesive presentation of concepts of, and methods for, causal inference. Much of this material is currently scattered across journals in several disciplines or confined to technical articles. They expect that the book will be of interest to anyone interested in causal inference, e.g., epidemiologists, statisticians, psychologists, economists, sociologists, political scientists, computer scientists, etc.
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Books and Reports: The Hidden Affliction: Sexually Transmitted Infections and Infertility in History
12/11/19
A multidisciplinary group of prominent scholars investigates the historical relationship between sexually transmitted infections and infertility. Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia cause infertility in a proportion of women and men. Unlike the much-feared venereal disease of syphilis--"the pox"--gonorrhea and chlamydia are often symptomless, leaving victims unaware of the threat to their fertility. Science did not unmask the causal microorganisms until the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their effects on fertility in human history remain mysterious.
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Books and Reports: Policy Brief: "Treating all children equally? Why policies should adapt to evolving family realities"
25/11/19
In this policy brief on child well-being, the OECD observes that children's experiences of family life are increasingly diverse. The growing fluidity of family life challenges tax/benefit systems to be more responsive to changes in children's living arrangements.
Event Review
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Freedom of Choice – The Foundation of Family Policies in Europe?
18/11/2019
Within the framework of the H2020 Project Generations and Gender Programme – Evaluate, Plan, Initiate (GGP-EPI), two policy dialogue events were held at the German House in London on the 4th of November 2019. The first was an Expert Meeting with 22 participants from academia, policy and civil society organisations. Following that event, a public panel discussion was held in the evening on the topic: Freedom of Choice – The Foundation of Family Policies in Europe? Both discussions focused on the comparison between Germany and the UK.  
News
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News: European Demographer Award
25/11/19
Deadline: 12 January 2020
Demographic change is one of the major challenges European societies will face in upcoming decades. In order to support outstanding research on the causes and consequences of population developments, Population Europe, the network of Europe’s foremost demographic research institutes, in collaboration with the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and the Berlin Demography Forum, invites nominations for the European Demographer Award. 
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News: New Social Policy and Law Shared Database
11/09/19
SPLASH is now online!
The “Social Policy and Law Shared Database” (SPLASH) offers access to contextual data through the development of two substantive sections: Data and Policy. Access SPLASH at: splash-db.eu
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News: IPUMS International 2019 Data Release
25/09/19
It’s that time of year again: IPUMS International data release season! This year’s release includes new 20% samples for all current Brazil data sets, additional samples for Cambodia, Fiji, and Nepal, new samples for Guatemala, Laos, Russia, and Togo, and Labor Force Survey samples for Spain and Italy. All of these new samples and all current data can be accessed at international.ipums.org.
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 Resources for Educators
25/09/19
Fertility rates in the United States dropped to their lowest level in recorded history, with women having an average of 1.7 births in their lifetime. That’s one of the key findings in the Population Reference Bureau's 2019 World Population Data Sheet. They estimate that by 2050, India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country with an estimated 1.67 billion people, while more people will be living in Nigeria than the United States.
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News: Chance to Field Questions in the European Social Survey
29/09/19
For a chance to include questions in Round 11 (2022/23) of the European Social Survey (ESS), the call for proposals is now open until January next year. This open competition offers teams of researchers the chance to include around 30 questions on a single academic and/or policy concern within Europe.
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Universität Wien Logo
04/11/19
On 1 October 2019 the University of Vienna has opened a new Department of Demography in the Faculty of Social Sciences. Headed by Wolfgang Lutz, this new department will be a strong university-based pillar of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital which also includes IIASA’s World Population Program and the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Policy Insights
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Working Parents' Mental Health Improves When Young Children Are in Nursery School
29/09/2019
Working parents have better mental health when their young children are looked after part-time in nursery schools or other formal childcare, rather than just by relatives, research says. Research on 6,700 parents of one- and two-year-olds in 29 European countries, including the UK, found that parents using part-time formal childcare had better mental health than those who used informal childcare only.
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Werkstattgespräch: Wie verhält sich Wissenschaft in kontroversen politischen Debatten?
14/10/2019
This working paper is based on the outcomes of a workshop discussion with experts from different scientific fields who work at the intersection of research, politics, economics and society. It took place on June 3, 2019, at the office of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Berlin.
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Why Are Birth Rates in Sweden Falling?
12/11/2019
Fewer and fewer children are being born in Sweden, while the average age of first-time mothers is rising. The latest figures from Statistics Sweden show that fertility rates in Sweden have fallen every year since 2009, and that the average age at first birth is the highest over a very long time. But none of the explanations researchers referred to in the past seem to be sufficient this time. So how can this development be explained?
Pop Digest
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Getting Out What You Put In
17/09/2019
Does having highly educated adult children reduce mortality risks for parents with low educational attainment in Europe? Albert Sabater and Elspeth Graham (Centre for Population Change and the University of St Andrews) together with Alan Marshall (University of Edinburgh) examined data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to answer this question.
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Education Gap, Integration Gap
25/11/2019
Triventi looked at national data on the whole population of students enrolled in the fifth and sixth grade in Italy in 2012 to investigate whether teachers grade students with a migration background (SMBs) less generously than native students with comparable academic skills. He found that SMBs who achieved similar standardised test scores nevertheless received lower average grades in both reading and mathematics.
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Neighbourhood Conditions and Old-Age Depression
26/11/2019
Gergő Baranyi and colleagues used data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to assess longitudinal associations of neighbourhood nuisances and access to services with depression among older European adults. They found that those exposed to neighbourhood nuisances, i.e., higher poverty, more neighbourhood problems (e.g., crime, noise, littering) or higher air pollution, had a 36 per cent increased chance of developing depression.
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Are Married People Happier?
23/07/2019
Numerous studies have been published that have examined subjective wellbeing (SWB) and marriage status, finding that married people tend to have a higher SWB. But in today’s society, more couples are opting for cohabitation, which includes many benefits associated with marriage. This then leaves the question of whether individuals who cohabit have similar levels of SWB as married people.
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Money and Babies
03/09/2019
Having children seems to be one of the main factors dividing the careers of women and men. Mothers who return to work after giving birth often face substantial wage losses, whereas fathers have been found to enjoy modest wage gains after the birth of a child. However, most studies have overlooked whether such wage premiums have changed over time amid transformations in the policy context surrounding fatherhood.
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Well-being Alone Won't Make It
01/10/2019
Research looking at Western European countries tends to suggest that the negative effect of parenthood on individuals’ subjective well-being is one of the key factors explaining low fertility trends. In a new study, Márta K. Radó (Postdoctoral Researcher at Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam and Research Fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) tested this association for Hungary, which is an especially interesting case for two main reasons. First, low fertility is a long-term trend in the country.
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Do You Think We Live Too Long?
21/10/2019
Our lives are getting longer and longer – are we perhaps living “too long”? So far, little is known about how long people want to live, and most of the few existing studies have focused exclusively on middle-aged and older adults. Young adults are expected to live even longer than current generations, and they are also in the midst of making a number of decisions and establishing behavioural patterns that will dramatically affect their future development and health.
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When Education Is Not Enough to Reduce Inequalities
11/11/2019
Since the onset of the recession in the late 2000s, youth "Not in Education, Employment or Training" (NEET) have received much public attention. Some examples of policymakers’ concerns include the long-term effects of NEET status on educational and labour market outcomes, health problems among NEETs, and the effects of a large NEET population on social cohesion in European societies. This study investigates childhood determinants of NEET status after compulsory school in Finland.
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Where Do People Move Following Separation?
12/11/2019
Previous research has shown that separation – either from marriage or from cohabitation – has negative consequences for individuals’ financial and emotional well-being. In this study, we focus on the consequences of separation for individuals’ housing outcomes. Housing, and specifically access to homeownership, is an important dimension of inequality in industrialised countries. Those who can afford to become homeowners will accumulate further advantage over time whereas those who cannot are likely to be disadvantaged.
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Making Father’s Involvement the Norm
18/11/2019
In the Nordic countries, it has become common through extensive family policies for both mothers and fathers to be able to take parental leave following the arrival of a new child. Norway, for example, offers parents the chance to take over a year’s worth of leave. As part of this leave, a father’s quota was introduced and this has led to a dramatic increase in the number of fathers taking leave. But what impact does a father’s involvement have on a woman’s fertility decisions?
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Nothing Lasts Forever
25/11/2019
A new paper by Andrea Monti sheds light on rising complexities in current migration trends by analysing differences in emigration patterns and propensities among foreign‐born people, focusing on return and onward migration separately. The paper uses high quality, full population register data on a relatively large and heterogeneous migrant population in Sweden.