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Transitions: Opportunities and Threats

European Population Conference 2014, held in Budapest, Hungary, 25-28 June 2014

The 12th European Population Conference took place in Budapest from 25 to 28 June 2014 and was organised by the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS) in cooperation with the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute (HDRI). The main focus of the conference was on the topic of demographic transitions in Europe and the opportunities and threats related to them. Fundamental changes started 25 years ago in the Eastern part of Europe, opening a new chapter in the history of the Continent. Even though the transformation of population processes is not completed, the objective of the conference was to make an inventory from the perspective of a quarter century. Has a new pattern of demographic behaviour emerged? How much is it different from other regions of Europe, and what mechanisms shaped population processes in the Eastern part of Europe?

Researchers from the BiB in front of their stand which informed interested visitors about the CPoS journal and other publications from the BiB CPoS StandFrom left to right: A. Ette, K. Schiefer, Prof. N. Schneider, Dr. A. Mergenthaler, Dr. J. Dorbritz, Dr. H. Rüger, R. Panova Source: Dr. Christian Fiedler

In more than 100 sessions about 850 participants dealed with current research approaches and results from the wide scientific field of demography. The president of the EAPS, Prof. Francesco C. Billari, emphasised in his welcome speech the cultural diversity of the European countries would be visible in demographic research as well – and in the topics discussed at this conference.
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 Analysis

In 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

Andreas Ette Andreas EtteAndreas Ette, BiB Source: Dr. Christian Fiedler

Confronted with structural demographic challenges, European countries have adopted new labour migration policies during the last decade. The sustainability of these new policies is largely dependent on the intentions of migrants to stay in their new country of destination with a permanent or at least long-term perspective. Despite this growing dependence on additional skilled labour migrants very little information exists about the dynamics of this new wave of migration and existing research findings with their focus on earlier migrant generations are hardly applicable today. The article comparatively tests major theoretical approaches accounting for permanent settlement intentions of Germany’s most recent labour migrants on the basis of a new administrative data set. Although the recent wave of labour migrants is on average a privileged group concerning their human capital, fundamentally different mechanisms are shaping their future migration intentions. Whereas economic factors determine temporary stays of a creative class profiting from the opportunities offered by an increasingly international labour market, socio-cultural and institutional factors shape permanent settlement intentions of 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

Dr. Andreas Mergenthaler Dr. Andreas MergenthalerDr. Andreas Mergenthaler, BiB Source: Dr. Christian Fiedler

In the light of future demographic ageing, extending working life at the end of the career is considered as an appropriate measure to reduce the financial burden for the social security system. Whereas working after retirement is a topic intensively discussed e.g. in the United States, little empirical work has been conducted in this area for Germany. In this presentation we investigate the differences between (1) retirees who work after retirement; (2) retirees who do not work but intend to do so; and (3) retirees who withdrew completely from labour force and show no interest in paid work. Data were taken from a survey sample entitled Transitions and Old Age Potentials (TOP) with 5,002 German speaking people aged 55 to 70 years. Roughly one of four retirees indicates that he or she works in retirement. Surprisingly, the actual household income situation represented by net equivalent income does not have a significant effect neither on the intention to continue working nor on the decision to work beyond retirement. Rather a negative subjective view on the economic situation is a major determinant for post-retirement employment. As expected, good health supports the intention as well as the decision to work after retirement.

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.

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