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  • 31/03/2014
    Older but Fitter
    Source: diego cervo - Fotolia.com
    A rapidly increasing proportion of people in high-income countries are surviving into their tenth decade. This population will continue to grow in the future, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of elderly people. This development raised concerns about the extent of frailty and disability in those age groups and the attached personal and societal costs.
  • 18/03/2014
    Smart Growth - Is the Demographic Dividend an Education Dividend?
    Source: lassedesignen - Fotolia.com
    Countries with a large working-age population tend to become richer quicker than those where this group is smaller in relation to children and elderly people. Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, Wolfgang Lutz and Warren Sanderson show in a recent study that this is mostly due to improvements in educational attainment among the young population, and not due to the fertility decline, as previous analyses claimed.
  • 12/03/2014
    Cross-Border Marriages in Sweden
    Source: © paulmz - Fotolia.com
    Not only has the opening of EU borders led to an expansion of partner markets in Sweden, but globalisation, a general increase in diversity and a growing number of Swedes who travel, work or study abroad have also played a role.
  • 15/01/2014
    Dutiful Daughters
    Source: © Alexander Raths - Fotolia.com
    One feature of ageing societies is an increasing number of older people who need help in their daily activities. A significant share of this help is provided by grown up children, especially by daughters. Across Europe, women are more involved in support activities to their ageing parents than men. A study by Tina Schmid, Martin Brandt and Klaus Haberkern explores whether this gender imbalance can be linked to family-policies.
  • 08/01/2014
    The benefit of having a wife
    Source: © Ingo Bartussek - Fotolia.com
    Public expenditure on care for older people has been rising along with the increasing number of senior citizens, and is expected to rise even more as population ageing continues. Attempts to constrain expenditures have largely focused on enabling older people to live independently longer and stressing the importance of informal caregivers as an alternative to public care. But to what extent and under which conditions can this idea actually be feasible? This question is examined in a new study by Niels Schenk and colleagues, who use the Netherlands as an example.
  • 06/01/2014
    Similar goals, different effects
    Source: © Tyler Olson - Fotolia.com
    Studies comparing the impact of family policies in different countries often ignore country differences in social structures. This is surprising given that the literature on fertility has identified social networks as a key mechanism in explaining fertility intentions. Using an agent-based model, Thomas Fent, Belinda Aparicio Diaz and Alexia Prskawetz integrate the role of social effects into a model of fertility decisions and investigate whether, and to what extent, the effectiveness of family policies is affected by the social structure.
  • 23/12/2013
    Measuring Homophobia
    Source: © Denis Junker - Fotolia.com
    Anti-gay demonstrations, public votes against the parental rights of same-sex-partnerships - the acceptance of homosexuality still seems to be quite low in some European countries. In a recent study, Judit Takács and Ivett Szalma compared the measurement of homophobia in two large scale longitudinal surveys: the European Values Study (EVS) and the European Social Survey (ESS). Specifically, the authors wondered whether different questions and scales derived from the studies actually measure the same thing in the end
  • 23/12/2013
    More work, less wage
    Source: © lilo - Fotolia.com
    There is a growing debate in Europe about whether parental leave should be short or long. Although career interruptions for childbearing and child rearing are one of the key explanatory factors in women's lower earnings, there is no clear consensus on how long parental leave should optimally last. Olivier Joseph and colleagues evaluate the impact of short parental leave on mothers' employment status and subsequent wages in France.
  • 19/12/2013
    Altruism or Egoism?
    Source: © Roman Sigaev - Fotolia.com
    Migrants have likely always sent money back to their home countries, and currently in many developing countries remittances comprise the second largest source of financial inflow. But remittance behaviour is also common within Europe. What is the motivation behind this? All studies on remittances to home countries have thus far focused on first-generation migrants. The main driving forces behind these remittances have therefore been thoroughly analysed. But in their recent research Tineke Fokkema, Eralba Cela and Elena Ambrosetti focused on second-generation migrants.
  • 11/12/2013
    Where are the children?
    Source: © Željko Radojko - Fotolia.com
    Fertility levels dropped drastically over the last decades, with some countries more recently making a slight recovery. But why has this happened? What are the main factors influencing the number of children born in a particular country? What is the role of individual preferences, characteristics and personal network? Is fertility ‘contagious’ among co-workers and friends? Do economic recessions and unemployment influence fertility? What is the role of the welfare state and have policy measures aimed at increasing fertility worked? These questions have been addressed by demographers and social scientists from a plethora of angles over the last decade. Focusing on empirical research, Nicoletta Balbo, Francesco C. Billari and Melinda Mills summarize the main approaches and core results in a comprehensive review.
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