Transitions: Opportunities and Threats
European Population Conference 2014, held in Budapest, Hungary, 25-28 June 2014
The BiB was present at this year's European Population Conference with seven researchers who presented results and posters from their respective research projects which are presented below in abridged form (Abstracts). Furthermore, the institute informed interested visitors about its publications, especially the peer-reviewed demographic journal Comparative Population Studies (CPoS), at its stand (see the picture on the right).
Dr. Heiko Rüger (in collaboration with Gil Viry, University of Edinburgh): Relating Migration and Commuting Histories to Fertility Histories Using Multi-Channel Sequence AnalysisIn the age of globalisation and increasing mobility demands within the labour market, work-related spatial mobility, like daily and weekly commuting, frequent business travel or migration, has become a widespread phenomenon in today’s European societies. This paper examines the interrelations between such high mobility behaviours and family life events. The sample (N=1735) derives from the second wave of the Job Mobilities and Family Lives in Europe study, which was randomly selected from the residential population aged 25 to 57 in Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain in 2007 and 2010/12. The data feature retrospective information on work-related spatial mobility, fertility and partnership histories. In a life course approach, complete trajectories of spatial mobility and fertility were built using sequence analysis techniques. Sequences allow us to deal with four relevant dimensions of life trajectories simultaneously: the duration, the frequency, the timing and the type of mobility/family events. We used optimal matching analysis (OMA) to group together similar sequences and multi-channel sequence analysis (MCSA) to study how mobility histories relate to family development histories. Preliminary results using the German sub-sample reveal clear gender differences. In the case of women, patterns of frequent and long-term commuting which started early in the occupational career are associated with a low or absent fertility and postponed childbearing. In case of men, mobility histories are largely independent of fertility histories. These results point to a goal conflict in contemporary societies where the growing mobility/flexibility of workers challenges work-family life balance and gender equity. The paper will present and discuss the findings across the four countries studied in light of their family policies.
In addition, Dr. Rüger presented together with Stine Waibel, Julika Hillmann and Prof. Dr. Norbert F. Schneider a poster on sex-specific effects of international mobility on family formation using the example of the Foreign Service in Germany.
Andreas Ette (in collaboration with Barbara Heß, BAMF, and Dr. Lenore Sauer): Tackling Germany’s Demographic Skills Shortage: Permanent Settlement Intentions of the Recent Wave of Labour Migrants
Beyond that, Dr. Lenore Sauer, Andreas Ette, Rabea Mundil-Schwarz (DESTATIS) and Harun Sulak presented a poster which dealed with the labour market integration of new immigrants in Germany. In comparison of the different developments of migrants from classic EU member states and third countries they analysed the influence of the changed institutional circumstances on the success of immigrants in the labour market.
Ralina Panova (in collaboration with Isabella Buber-Ennser, Wittgenstein Centre): Attitudes towards Parental Employment
Gender roles and values of children play an increasingly important role in terms of explaining cross cultural differences in fertility decisions. With the begin of the Second Demographic Transition the traditional male breadwinner model is being transformed into more gender-equal family models. Especially in terms of education and market employment women have opportunities nearly equivalent to those of men. Although more mothers with young children are in paid work than in the past, the employment rate of mothers varies within Europe. Only if the model of the working mother is largely accepted in a society and under condition of favourable institutional framework there would be high level of gender equality in families and fewer difficulties in reconciliation of work and family. Acceptance of the model of the working mother and availability of childcare facilities are crucial for gender equality. Based on the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) data this paper studies attitudes towards parental employment in twelve European countries and Australia. In a multivariate framework we examine how the acceptance of external childcare differs according to gender and stage of Second Demographic Transition in a country. We focus on individuals up to age of 45 years and analyse 66,455 men and women in total. Analyses are carried out for men and women as well as for both sexes separately and for all countries as well as for each country separately. The country-specific ranking in terms of traditional attitudes goes along with the expectations derived from the Second Demographic Transition theory concerning the stage of SDT in a country. We find large diversity in the level of traditionalism among the eastern European countries and large gender differences. The individual characteristics confirm the findings from previous literature. Analyses carried out for each country separately shows differences in the effects of socio-demographic characteristics.
Dr. Andreas Mergenthaler (in collaboration with Frank Micheel, Jakob Schröber and Volker Cihlar): Working after Retirement – Evidence from Germany
Katrin Schiefer (in collaboration with Robert Naderi): Family Formation Processes in Eastern and Western Germany. How Important are Regionally Diverse Values? [Poster]
Even 25 years after the German Reunification there are still obvious differences in the demographic development of Eastern and Western Germany. Thus, childlessness is especially a phenomenon in Western Germany while in Eastern Germany the share of one-child-families is rising. In addition, non-marital cohabitations are more widespread in the East than in the West. On the basis of the Familienleitbilder in Deutschland survey it becomes clear that the existence of different behavioural patterns is the result of different family-related principles (leitbilder) that became established in the two parts of the country and still have an impact on the people's behaviour.
Prof. Norbert F. Schneider: Next EPC Conference in Mainz, Germany, from August 31st until September 3rd, 2016
At the members' meeting of the European Association for Population Studies the director of the BiB, Prof. Norbert F. Schneider, gave a first outlook on the next European Population Conference, which will be held in Mainz at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität from 31st August until 3rd September, 2016. The event will be organised by the BiB.
Closing Session in the Hungarian Parliament
At the closing session in the Hungarian Parliament the sitting speaker of parliament, László Kövér, stressed that scientific results would be taken very seriously in politics. Politicians would always have an eye on demographic research in their decisions. Professor Billari confirmed that politicians would increasingly realise the relevance of demographic research and consider the results in the political discussion. Beyond that, he praised the high scientific quality of the conference contributions and the wide thematic variety which would show the increased importance of the demographic development for the European countries.