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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.

Neue Einsichten in die Zukunft der alternden Gesellschaft
In den Jahren zwischen 1817 und 1829 veröffentlichte Johann Wolfgang von Goethe seine Novelle Ein Mann von fünfzig Jahren. Es geht darin um die mitunter schmerzhafte Erfahrung des Älterwerdens und des „Ergrauens“, und die sich daraus ergebenden Absurditäten im Zusammenleben von Alt und Jung; oder, wie Jonathan Swift (der kurz vor Goethes Geburt im Alter von 77 Jahren starb) einmal ironisch bemerkte: „Jeder möchte gerne länger leben, aber niemand alt werden“. [...]
New insights into the future of an ageing society
Between 1817 and 1829, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published his novella The Man of Fifty. It tells the story of the somewhat painful experience of growing old and grey, and the absurdities the relationships between old and young can sometimes take; or, as Jonathan Swift (who died shortly before Goethe was born, at the age of 77) ironically stated: "Every man desires to live long; but no man would like to be old." [...]
Children who live full time with one parent are more likely to feel stressed than children in shared custody situations. The benefit holds regardless of the level of conflict between the parents or between parent and child. These are the results of a new study from Stockholm University’s Demography Unit. [...]
By Juho Härkönen
Recent decades of family change have seen increases in cohabitation rather than marriage, family dissolution, step-family formation and joint residential custody. Children are involved in many of these increasingly common family transitions and family forms. [...]
By Jani Erola and Elina Kilpi-Jakonen
Drawing conclusions of what promotes intergenerational mobility, thus promoting more equal societies, has turned out to be rather difficult. In our edited volume, we argue that an important factor that previous studies have overlooked is compensation. This means that when resources are lacking or have suddenly been lost, some attempts are made to access other resources. These attempts may come from the children, the parents themselves, or other persons nearby, such as grandparents, other extended or new family members, or even neighbours. [...]
Early childhood education is essential, but PISA reminds us that secondary education must play a role in achieving equality
by Daniela Vono de Vilhena In 2001, a secondary education policy debate left German society rattled. In December of that year, the OECD published its first Programme for International Student Assessment report. PISA revealed Germany, the economic engine of Europe, to be lagging behind its OECD counterparts in both performance and equality among 15-year-olds. [...]
FamiliesAndSocieties
Interview with Dimitri Mortelmans and Ariane Pailhé
What are the two most important findings of your research for FamiliesAndSocieties? [...]
Freelancers, social security, and the future of work in an increasingly equal, diverse, and ageing society.
by Patrick I. Dick [...]
Genes may have a say in when we have children and how many we end up with - Interview with Professor Melinda Mills, Oxford
“Loci”? “GWAS”? “NEB”? All in a day’s work for Melinda Mills, Nicola Barban, Harold Sneider, Marcel den Hoed, and their colleagues, who recently published a ground-breaking study on the genetic dimension of human reproductive behaviour. [...]
To reconcile work and family is to improve gender and socioeconomic equality. This means the type of intervention will be just as important as its generosity. Take cash benefits for care services. Intended to provide families with flexibility, evidence suggests they subtly incentivise families to fall back on traditional divisions of household labour. Given cash, families, especially poorer families, tend to engage in more home care for their children. [...]

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