The Effects of Market-Based Housing Reforms on Housing Affordability: New York 1990-2008

Since the 1980s, policies have increasingly encouraged housing provision by the private market. Programs to de-commodify housing such as rent regulations or social housing programs have gradually been terminated and replaced by policies to promote the delivery of housing through profit-making actors. Selling or demolishing social housing, liberalizing rents, or promoting homeownership have come to dominate the policy landscape, not just in Britain or the US, but also across many Western European countries. Programs such as the British Right-To-Buy, HOPE VI in the US, or the Dutch urban restructuring program are widely known, if only exemplary of this wider trend.

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Contraception as a Rational Choice or Social Practice?

Couples’ fertility control is most often perceived as a rational decision-making process, thereby assuming that people – and women in particular – who want to prevent conception will rely on the most effective method available. Accordingly, it is argued that the introduction of hormonal methods in advanced economies was paralleled by a linear transition from irrational ineffective methods to rational effective ones.

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Compelled to Work for Wages: The Story of Old-Age Wage Labour Participation in India

The well-being of the elderly in any society is important as improved health facilities and policies have made the elderly population among one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the world today. In India the elderly population has grown from about 19.8 million in 1951 to 100 million in 2011 and the projections indicate that the number of persons older than sixty years is likely to increase to 198 million by 2030 (Government of India, 2008; ET, 2012). The growing share of the elderly population may have severe consequence in a country like India where the credit and financial markets are not adequately developed.

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Children’s Economic Well-Being in Same-Sex Mother Families

While there is increasing support for same-sex parent families and recent state-wide legalization of marriages to same-sex couples in the U.S., there is only a small body of research that examines the economic, academic, social, or psychological well-being of children living in same-sex parent families (Manning et al. 2014).  There are increasing numbers of children residing in same-sex couple parent families, but a key constraint has been that there are relatively few data sets with ample numbers of children residing in same-sex parent families.

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Should the UK Government Expand Pro-Marriage Tax Relief?

In April 2015, David Cameron’s government implemented legislation to promote marriage by providing tax relief for low-income married couples. While nearly four million couples could potentially claim the benefit of around £212 per year, it has been difficult to obtain and relatively few have done so. Now the government has plans to expand these tax benefits to more married couples in order to “send a strong signal that we back marriage.” (Cameron 2014) This raises the question of whether marriage, compared to cohabitation, does indeed boost well-being, and whether incentives to marry need to be expanded.

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On the Activities Providing Access to Quantitative Surveys for Social Research

Providing opportunities for secondary analysis and for the replication of studies, the sharing of research data is paramount to the social sciences. Facilitating the access to data has become a political objective, and more and more journals and funding agencies are adopting a data availability policy. In this context, it is useful to have insights into the challenges and potential benefits of ensuring that survey data are made widely available.

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The Future of Estimating Housing Requirements. How Can Demographic Forecasting Help Plan for Housing?

I would like to outline four themes that may be helpful to promote future work on housing requirements in the UK. First, what is the role of forecasting within planning? I think a two part formulation is a useful guide to what planners need. Forecasters should predict that part of the future which planners don’t control, so that they can concentrate on what they can control; and forecasters should predict the consequences of a plan. In our context, the ‘trend-based’ official projections encapsulate business as usual without the impact of future-changing plans, and in particular deal with fertility, mortality and international migration which are considered outside the planners’ control. Continue reading

Parents Repartnering Parents: The ‘Complex’ Nature of Stepfamily Formation

Due to high union dissolution rates, single parents are increasingly present on the relational market. Gaining insight into the re-partnering dynamics among these individuals is relevant from different perspectives. From a parent’s perspective, forming a new union has been identified as one of the main predictors of ‘recovering’ from the dissolution of a previous union, both in terms of improving social and emotional well-being, and financial resources (Sweeney 2010). From a child’s perspective, the arrival of a stepparent increases the availability of parental resources in the household. However, empirical evidence supporting the beneficial effects of a transition from single-parent family to stepfamily remains scarce and inconclusive (Sweeney 2010).

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A ‘Recipe for Depopulation’? School Closures and Local Decline in Saxony

There is a long tradition of debating the relative merits of small village schools versus larger central, consolidated schools. In weighing the advantages and disadvantages of both, the arguments commonly fall within two camps. On the one hand, larger schools are presumed to be more efficient and offer superior facilities and broader curricular choice. On the other hand, smaller schools are often felt to afford individual teaching interactions and encourage greater integration within community life.  When considering the value of a local school as a vital focal point of village life, the debate extends beyond strictly pedagogical concerns and into the realms of demography, migration, social cohesion, and child-parent experiences.

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Are Occupational Complexity and Socioeconomic Position Related to Psychological Distress 20 Years Later?

The age group above retirement age is the fastest growing age group in many countries. As most diseases and disorders occur in higher ages, this implies that there will be higher demands on the health care and pension systems. Even though many have argued that societies are facing an economic and demographic challenge, it is arguably also a great success; more people reach old age and live longer. But some groups of individuals tend to be healthier than others.

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