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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. 

Schnor & Jalovaara 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. [...]
Both family-friendly policies and norms linked to women's employment over the life course
It is long established that family and employment interact across women’s life courses. Entering motherhood often means exiting the labour market and a delayed return to employment after birth. However, both family policy and gender norms may affect such labour market trajectories. Policy research tends to show a positive impact of work-family policies on women’s employment. At the same time, previous studies also show that norms about gendered roles in the household and in the labour market affect women’s employment as well. [...]
Going deep into the mechanisms beyond the role of social networks on fertility
Do close individuals - family, friends or working colleagues - influence each other’s fertility decisions? If so, to what extent does this generate a multiplying effect in societies? Previous studies have shown that the decision of having a child is associated with social networks people have. It suggests that mechanisms such as social learning and social pressure lead to a “contagious” effect inside social networks. [...]
Smoking is the major reason for sex differences in last decades in high income countries
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? [...]
The effects of specific family policies in Hungary
Zsolt Spéder and Lívia Murinkó of the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute and Livia Sz. Oláh of Stockholm University (SUDA) used data from the Hungarian Generations and Gender Survey to study whether two policies, a flat-rate cash support and a tax rebate, increased the likelihood of women in Hungary giving birth to a third child.  [...]
Nurture, not nature, explains why some societies have more social mobility than others
The question of how life-course outcomes depend on the institution of the family is central to sociology and social demography. Few outcomes are more important in life than one's educational attainment, and a large literature studies how it depends on the family of origin – so-called intergenerational mobility research. In this field there have always been two opposing views. One seeing intergenerational transmission as "mostly in the genes" and thereby difficult to influence by policy levers; another seeing outcomes as heavily dependent on social forces. [...]
Income poverty is an important but insufficient measure of economic hardship for children
In a study just published by the prestigious journal Demography, Anika Schenck-Fontaine (Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories) and Lidia Panico (Institut National d’Études Démographiques) looked at multiple economic hardship combinations and how they are associated with children’s behavior problems between ages 3 and 7. [...]
Child & adolescent time use in Finland, Spain, and the UK
To investigate how child and adolescent time use differs across societies, Gracia and colleagues used 2009-2015 time-diary data on children and adolescents aged 10-17 from Finland, Spain and the UK. They find very strong cross-national differences in child and adolescent time use, net of multiple demographic factors. Consequently, they argue that cross-cultural variations are critical to understand cross-country differences in children’s daily activities. [...]
Study sheds light on rising complexities in current migration trends
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. [...]
Engagement by fathers in Norway has a positive effect on women having children
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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