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Policy Insights

Researchers and collaboration partners of Population Europe as well as eminent experts from leading organisations contribute to the debate on demographic developments that are of public interest by providing insights into pressing policy issues.

Woman getting on train with baby
By Thomas Skora, Heiko Rüger & Nico Stawarz, German Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Commuting tends to vary over an individual’s life course: Looking specifically at women entering motherhood, they tend to reduce their commute when transitioning to parenthood. Almost one in three of the mothers surveyed reduced their commuting distance substantially after the birth of the first child, leading to significant wage cuts. [...]
by Agnese Vitali (University of Trento) & Helen Kowalewska (University of Oxford)
A study by Kowalewska and Vitali (2020) suggests it is time for policies to recognise the economic fragility of female-breadwinner couples. The gendered division of paid and unpaid work within couples has transformed across industrialised countries in recent decades. In analysing this change, policymakers and academics have endorsed the ‘social investment’ agenda, promoting a shift from male-breadwinning to ‘dual-breadwinning’ among partners. [...]
By Per Engzell, Arun Frey & Mark Verhagen, Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, University of Oxford
Per Engzell, Arun Frey & Mark Verhagen of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science, Oxford University find that during the first COVID-19 lockdown in the Netherlands, students learned less than during a normal year. These results highlight the costs of keeping students out of schools and of the difficulties in compensating for these costs. [...]
By Maria Brandén and Colleagues at the Stockholm University Demography Unit
The risk of dying from COVID-19 is for individuals aged 70 and older in Stockholm County who live in the same household as a person of working age was 60 per cent higher compared with the elderly who live with other old individuals, find Maria Brandén and colleagues of the Stockholm University Demography Unit. [...]
By Mathias Czaika (Danube University Krems) & Jakub Bijak (University of Southampton)
Our ability to predict migration patterns is limited. Mathias Czaika and Jakub Bijak of the Horizon 2020 project QuantMig tell us five facts everyone should know before discussing future migration trends. [...]
By Roman Hoffmann, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital
Hoffmann and colleagues at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital conducted a meta-analysis on the relationship between environmental change and migration, finding robust evidence that environmental factors explain migration patterns. [...]
by Andreas Backhaus, German Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Andreas Backhaus of the German Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) summarises six potential pitfalls that can arise in the interpretation of coronavirus data. These pitfalls have the potential to mislead the public debate and thereby the course of future policy actions. [...]
by Francesco Billari, Bocconi University
Francesco Billari of Bocconi University argues that the European Union must use COVID-19 crisis exit funds to prioritise investment in children and the institutions that shape them, their schools and families. These funds would be, if well-orchestrated, a social investment: Improving the life chances of children would diminish inequalities in the long term, and at the same time it would increase human capital, leading to economic growth in the long run. [...]
by Alberto Palloni (CSIC) & Stephan Walter (Rey Juan Carlos University)
Palloni & Walter explore possible causes of differences in fatality rates due to COVID-19 by gender, country, and region. These explanations include comparability of statistics and accounting of cases; variance in resources and capacity to cope with the pandemic; population health composition; and most notably, biology and epigenetics. [...]
by Petra de Jong, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
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. [...]