Are Expatriates Really That Different From Immigrants?

Expatriates – highly-skilled workers who temporarily live abroad because of their jobs – are often seen as extraordinary people, not only very different from those who have always lived in their country of birth, but also much unlike immigrants, who moved to another country to stay there more or less permanently. In contrast to ‘ordinary’ migrants, expatriates are usually depicted as cosmopolitans, who feel at home anywhere, but are rooted nowhere. Some scholars argue that expatriates present themselves as world citizens, but that in reality, they only feel comfortable with transnational business men and women like themselves.

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The Advent of Tribal Population Studies

The “tribe”, as a special form of human association, has been traditionally approached either as a type of human society or as a stage in its evolution. However, it is only recently that applied research was conducted with respect to the quantification and pattern recognition processes related to the tribe and tribalism. This I shall term the advent of tribal population studies.

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The Inequality of Incapacity

While many inequalities are extensively researched, particularly around income and health, it is perhaps surprising to still find other inequalities that are barely mentioned in the literature. Yet this is true for one inequality around disability and work: almost no research focuses on why some people with disabilities are working and others are not, even when they have the same disabilities. What are the advantages that enable some – but only some, usually better-educated – sick and disabled people to stay attached to the labour market?

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Addressing Social Inequality in Migration, Urbanisation and Adaptation to Climate Impact in China

Understanding the role of social inequality is crucial if we are to unravel the climate impact, human adaption and migration nexus, but there is limited empirical evidence addressing it, especially in urban settings. In our study recently published in Population and Environment (Tan et al. 2015) as part of the Climate Change and Migration in China project funded by the Australian Research Council, we consider social inequality from three major dimensions: material inequality (the economic), social status inequality (the social) and power inequality (the political). Our consideration was based on the theories of socio-spatial inequality (Sheppard 2002) and social inequality (Goldthorpe 2010). Continue reading


Re-thinking Residential Mobility

In his 1955 classic, Why Families Move, Peter Rossi showed that changes in household structure- such as the birth of a child- often alter people’s housing and neighbourhood preferences and motivate moving to a more suitable dwelling. Much of this residential mobility takes place over surprisingly short distances, with less than one third of British movers relocating more than 10km (Bailey and Livingston 2007).

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Cultural Assimilation and the Well-being of Immigrants

With its 10.7 million of foreign-born residents (Statistiches Bundesamt, 2011), Germany represents the country with the largest number of international migrants in Europe. The assimilation of immigrants into the national culture is one of the hottest issues that policy makers have to face. On the 16th of October 2010, during a meeting of the younger members of the Christian Democratic Union, the German prime minister Angela Merkel contributed to the controversial debate on multiculturalism in her country by stating that “the approach [building] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other… has failed, utterly failed”.

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Twenty-Five Years After the ADA: Celebrating its Virtues and Understanding its Failures

The Americans with Disabilities Act had important impacts on improving accessibility and increasing public awareness about the struggles of people with disabilities. The ADA made the US a world leader – its language the basis for national policies in the US and the UK, as well as the UN Convention on Disability Rights.

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Fertility Booms and Busts During the Twentieth Century and Their Importance for the Process of Ageing

As the developed world hunkers down for the long winter of ageing it may be instructive to reflect on just how we arrived at this particular juncture of world population history and how the recent past is likely to mark future developments in this process. In many ways, the twentieth century was unique with respect to the timing and intensity of population trends. During this period, there was a very clear boom and bust cycle of fertility. The starting point for this great cycle can be found during the 1930s when in many, but not all, developed nations fertility was already quite low, often near or even below levels considered necessary for population replacement (Total Fertility Rate (TFR) = 2.1).

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Beware of RCTs of Policy Pilots – The Myth of Easy Compatibility

Policy pilots are often understood to be synonymous with their evaluation. The assumption is that a government would not initiate a pilot if the intention were not to evaluate it. This conflation is most obvious in the notion of the ‘policy experiment’, a term that carries connotations of measuring effectiveness through experimental methods, specifically by using randomised controlled trials (RCTs). In English health policy discourse, with its proximity to clinical medicine, the notion of policy experimentation becomes skewed towards using pilots as a way to assess policy effectiveness in quantifiable terms through RCTs.

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