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International Population Conference

27th International Population Conference held by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) in Busan, Korea, 26-31 August 2013

More than 2,500 participants from all over the world discussed current demographic research results at the 27th International Population Conference of the IUSSP from 26 to 31 August 2013 in Busan (Korea). The spread of issues included the areas of fertility, relationship, marriage, mortality, life expectancy, ageing, health, migration as well as the relations between population, development and environment, which were discussed in over 300 sessions.

Beyond that, special sessions focussed on the topics of culture, family and fertility in the Asian-Pacific region. Several researchers of the BiB took part at the multi-day event.

Ralina Panova and Isabella Buber: Desired Fertility of Academics

Photo: Ralina Panova, Isabella Buber, Lenore Sauer and Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz at the 27th International Population Conference in Busan, Korea 27th International Population Conference of the IUSSPRalina Panova, Isabella Buber, Lenore Sauer and Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz (f.l.t.r.)

In their lecture, Ralina Panova (BiB) and Isabella Buber (Vienna Institute of Demography) addressed the desired fertility of male and female academics in the rush hour of life. Against the background of widespread childlessness among female German academics in recent years, they studied the concrete desired fertility of 2,187 academics aged between 27 and 40 in Western Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Norway on the basis of the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS). They found here that there was a strong negative connection between educational level and fertility in those countries in which women remained away from the labour market for a prolonged period after birth, and where well-educated people have problems in reconciling work and family. They now aimed to find out how circumstances are linked to the intention to have children. In doing so, they identified determinants for the intention to have children, on the basis of the life course concept, as well as of the presumption of a "rush hour of life".
According to the two researchers, the analysis revealed that desired fertility was low in countries with traditional gender roles and inadequate child-care facilities, particularly because there were also substantial gender differences in these countries. These included Germany and Austria. Nonetheless, the intentions to have children were particularly strong in the age group of 30- to 34-year-olds. To this end, the intentions are influenced not only by the degree of institutionalisation, but also by the duration and nature of the relationship. It is said to be shown that desired fertility is lower in "living apart together" relationships. This form of relationship is said to be increasing further in times when demands are rising as to professional mobility. They stressed that the question of the organisation of working time constituted a further influencing factor on desired fertility planning.

Dr. Martin Bujard and Jasmin Passet: The Impact of Parental Leave

In their lecture, Dr. Martin Bujard and Jasmin Passet (both BiB) studied the effects of the parental leave benefit, which was introduced in Germany in 2007, on the gainful employment of mothers, as well as on the fertility of academics' families. To this end, they asked the question of how the female employment patterns have changed since then, and whether the impact of parental leave differs from the experience of the Northern European countries. On the basis of data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and from the Microcensus for 2003 to 2011, they showed that there are effects for certain population groups with regard to the desired family policy goals. For instance, a positive effect is demonstrated on fertility in particular in the age group of 35- to 44-year old female academics. All in all, Dr. Bujard and Ms Passet stress that it is possible to recognise different intensities of the impact on various goal dimensions. For instance, firstly, fathers' participation in parental leave has increased considerably, and secondly it has not (yet) been possible to demonstrate that an influence has been exerted on the birth rate. It is however also not possible to prove that the parental leave does not exert an impact. It is necessary to observe the further demographic development here and take the broad family policy context into account. In summary, the two researchers say that the increase that has been noted in recent years in mothers' workforce participation has increased continually as to the rate of working mothers and the average number of hours since the introduction of the parental leave benefit.

Dr. Martin Bujard: Structural Factors in the Fertility Development

During a poster session Dr. Bujard furthermore presented a poster on the topic "Systematic Change of Signs in Macro Patterns of Fertility – Understanding the Low Fertility Path of some OECD Countries", in which he studies the influence exerted on fertility by factors at macro level such as family policy, institutions, the labour markets, economic crises and cultural traditions. He reaches the conclusion here that current differences in the fertility level of the countries that have been studied are primarily caused by family policy, economic development and the cultural historic roots.

Andreas Ette, Rabea Mundil-Schwarz and Dr. Lenore Sauer: Labour Market Integration of New Immigrants in Germany

In their contribution, Andreas Ette and Lenore Sauer (both BiB), together with Rabea Mundil-Schwarz from the Federal Statistical Office, addressed the integration of new immigrants on the German labour market. A marked change has taken place in the last decade in the labour migration policy of developed states in the context of demographic change and of the increasing international competition for highly-qualified workers. Whilst the self-perception as being a "non-immigration country" continued to typify the debate in Germany until the end of the 1990s, the focus today is on the creation of a "culture of welcome" which is as attractive as possible. Against this background, under the title "Who Profits from Germany's Culture of Welcome? The Impact of Changing Opportunity Structures on Labour Market Integration of New Immigrants", Dr. Lenore Sauer presented the results of a joint project with Andreas Ette and Rabea Mundil-Schwarz on the labour market integration of new immigrants. In the comparison of developments in labour market integration over a period from 1996 to 2010, the three researchers were able to show that, in addition to human and social capital, the reforms in German migration policy have led to improved labour market integration for new immigrants.

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