Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research
Recent publications
Background The large-scale International Computer and Information Literacy Study (2018) has an interesting finding concerning Luxembourg teachers. Luxembourg has one of the highest reported level of technology-related resources for teaching and learning, but a relatively lower reported use of ICT in classroom practice. Methods ICT innovation requires a high initial level of financial investment in technology, and Luxembourg has achieved this since 2015. Once the necessary financial investment in ICT technology has been made, the key question is what else matters to increase the use of ICT in teaching. To identify the relevant factors, we used the “Four in Balance” model, aimed explicitly at monitoring the implementation of ICT in schools. Results Using data for 420 teachers in Luxembourg, we identify that within such a technology-driven approach to digitalization, teachers’ vision of ICT use in teaching, level of expertise , and the use of digital learning materials in class are significant support factors. Leadership and collaboration , in the form of an explicit vision of setting ICT as a priority for teaching in the school, also prove to be important. Conclusions Through these findings, we show that the initial investment in school infrastructure for ICT needs to be associated in its implementation with teachers’ ICT-related beliefs, attitudes, and ICT expertise.
Background In the older general population, neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are associated with increased disability, decreased physical and cognitive function. Detecting risk factors can help implement prevention measures. Using deep neural networks (DNNs), a machine-learning algorithm could be an alternative to Cox regression in tabular datasets with many predictive features. We aimed to compare the performance of different types of DNNs with regularized Cox proportional hazards models to predict NDs in the older general population. Methods We performed a longitudinal analysis with participants of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. We included men and women with no NDs at baseline, aged 60 years and older, assessed every 2 years from 2004 to 2005 (wave2) to 2016–2017 (wave 8). The features were a set of 91 epidemiological and clinical baseline variables. The outcome was new events of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer or dementia. After applying multiple imputations, we trained three DNN algorithms: Feedforward, TabTransformer, and Dense Convolutional (Densenet). In addition, we trained two algorithms based on Cox models: Elastic Net regularization (CoxEn) and selected features (CoxSf). Results 5433 participants were included in wave 2. During follow-up, 12.7% participants developed NDs. Although the five models predicted NDs events, the discriminative ability was superior using TabTransformer (Uno’s C-statistic (coefficient (95% confidence intervals)) 0.757 (0.702, 0.805). TabTransformer showed superior time-dependent balanced accuracy (0.834 (0.779, 0.889)) and specificity (0.855 (0.0.773, 0.909)) than the other models. With the CoxSf (hazard ratio (95% confidence intervals)), age (10.0 (6.9, 14.7)), poor hearing (1.3 (1.1, 1.5)) and weight loss 1.3 (1.1, 1.6)) were associated with a higher DNN risk. In contrast, executive function (0.3 (0.2, 0.6)), memory (0, 0, 0.1)), increased gait speed (0.2, (0.1, 0.4)), vigorous physical activity (0.7, 0.6, 0.9)) and higher BMI (0.4 (0.2, 0.8)) were associated with a lower DNN risk. Conclusion TabTransformer is promising for prediction of NDs with heterogeneous tabular datasets with numerous features. Moreover, it can handle censored data. However, Cox models perform well and are easier to interpret than DNNs. Therefore, they are still a good choice for NDs.
In today's Europe, commemorations can be times at which to affirm international reconciliation, based notably on the knowledge produced by historians who are becoming progressively cosmopolitan. However, commemorations are also used by national-populist political parties for electoral purposes and can lead to tensions with neighbouring states. This was the case in Trieste in September 2019, when the city council executive (controlled by a right-wing national-populist coalition) decided to erect a statue of Gabriele D'Annunzio, 100 years after he had occupied the nearby city of Fiume (now Rijeka) in Croatia. This commemoration led to a series of debates among historians, especially in Italy. Based on a critical discourse analysis and an interdiscursive approach to narratives produced by historians for colleagues and for the broader society, the current research investigates the use of cosmopolitanism in the field of history when in parallel a commemoration is coordinated by national-populist forces in a public space.
The positive utility of travel (unrelated to the destination) and travel satisfaction have been discussed in travel literature, but a research gap exists in comparing if and how travel benefits might differ among commuting, shopping, leisure, and undirected trips (those without a destination, undertaken for the purpose of the trip itself). By specifying the varying benefits of each trip type (or determining whether there is a variation), the positive utility of travel can be better understood, potentially identifying strategies for improving travel satisfaction and, in turn, subjective well-being. This paper considers these four trip types (commuting, shopping, leisure, and undirected) by evaluating differences in beneficial aspects of travel (improving physical health, improving mental well-being, enjoying scenery, and social contact), travel satisfaction, and characteristics (mode, distance, duration, frequency) among 1122 daily travel trips using survey data (n = 332) from Flanders, Belgium. Results indicate that, 1. though taken least often, undirected trips are the most important to physical activity, 2. undirected and leisure trips are most associated with positive utility of travel, and 3. trips to a leisure destination are the most satisfying. This investigation offers information regarding how experienced utility might differ when considering the context of the destination, and how satisfaction with different trips might relate to overall well-being.
Background Internalizing behaviors are an indicator of children’s psychological and emotional development, predicting future mental disorders. Recent studies have identified associations between DNA methylation (DNAm) and internalizing behaviors. This prospective study aimed at exploring the associations between pace of biological aging and the developmental trajectories of internalizing behaviors. Methods Participants were children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort (N=974). Measures of DNA methylation were collected at birth, age 7 and ages 15-17. The pace of aging was estimated using the DunedinPoAm algorithm (PoAm). Internalizing behaviors reported by caregivers between ages 4 and 16 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. To explore heterogeneity in the association between PoAm and internalizing behaviors we use Poisson quantile regression in cross-section heterogeneity and longitudinal latent class analysis over the childhood and adolescence. Results Internalizing behavior trajectories were identified: low-risk, childhood limited, late onset and early onset (persistent). Accelerated aging at birth was negatively associated with internalizing behaviors in early childhood but positively correlated during adolescence. Higher PoAm at birth increased chance of low-risk profile, while decreasing likelihood of childhood limited trajectory. PoAm at age 15 was negatively associated with childhood limited profile and positively linked to late onset trajectories. Associations were larger at higher values of internalizing symptoms. Conclusions The heterogeneity in the association between biological age acceleration and internalizing behaviors suggests a complex dynamic relationship, particularly in children with high or increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes.
This study explores the formation of economic complexity within a city from the Global South, during 2011–2019. It proposes an expanded interpretation of the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) to be applied at the intra-urban context of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, focusing on three different spatial levels of analysis (i.e., local, neighbourhood, and community levels). By applying the index to these three levels, instead of regional or national administrative boundaries commonly used in literature, this study contributes to approximating the observation of economic complexity to the actual geographical scales at which economic interactions take place, allowing for intra-urban comparisons. The proposed ECI includes the service economy, amenities, and retail, in addition to commonly observed manufacturing industry. Methodologically, this case study introduces the Urban Economy Space network diagram to the expanded ECI as an effort to holistically consider all economic sectors happening in a city. The main findings are twofold. First, the city services classified as more complex by the ECI are aligned with the theory of post-industrial economic activities: financial, telecommunications, scientific and technical services, etc. Second, government-led institutions such as healthcare facilities, higher education institutions, etc., appear on the top tier of economic complexity, indicating that local and national governments can contribute to complexifying local economies.
We here address the causal relationship between the maternal genetic risk for depression and child human capital using UK birth-cohort data. We find that an increase of one standard deviation (SD) in the maternal polygenic risk score for depression reduces their children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill scores by 5 to 7% of a SD throughout adolescence. Our results are robust to a battery of sensitivity tests addressing, among others, concerns about pleiotropy and dynastic effects. Our Gelbach decomposition analysis suggests that the strongest mediator is genetic nurture (through maternal depression itself), with genetic inheritance playing only a marginal role.
Background Stroke is a common cause of mobility limitation, including a reduction in life space. Life space is defined as the spatial extent in which a person moves within a specified period of time. We aimed to analyze patients’ objective and self-reported life space and clinical stroke characteristics. Methods MOBITEC-Stroke is a prospective observational cohort study addressing poststroke mobility. This cross-sectional analysis refers to 3-month data. Life space was assessed by a portable tracking device (7 consecutive days) and by self-report (Life-Space Assessment; LSA). We analysed the timed up-and-go (TUG) test, stroke severity (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale; NIHSS), and the level of functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale; mRS) in relation to participants’ objective (distance- and area-related life-space parameters) and self-reported (LSA) life space by multivariable linear regression analyses, adjusted for age, sex, and residential area. Results We included 41 patients, mean age 70.7 (SD11.0) years, 29.3% female, NIHSS score 1.76 (SD1.68). We found a positive relationship between TUG performance and maximum distance from home ( p = 0.006), convex hull area (i.e. area enclosing all Global Navigation Satellite System [GNSS] fixes, represented as a polygon linking the outermost points; p = 0.009), perimeter of the convex hull area (i.e. total length of the boundary of the convex hull area; p = 0.008), as well as the standard ellipse area (i.e. the two-dimensional ellipse containing approximately 63% of GNSS points; p = 0.023), in multivariable regression analyses. Conclusion The TUG, an easily applicable bedside test, seems to be a useful indicator for patients’ life space 3 months poststroke and may be a clinically useful measure to document the motor rehabilitative process.
Several low‐ and middle‐income countries are considering health financing system reforms to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC). However, empirical evidence of the effect of health financing systems on health system outcomes is scarce, partly because it is difficult to quantitatively capture the ‘health financing system’. We assign country‐year observations to one of three health financing systems (i.e., predominantly out‐of‐pocket, social health insurance (SHI) or government‐financed), using clustering based on out‐of‐pocket, contributory SHI and non‐contributory government expenditure, as a percentage of total health expenditures. We then estimate the effect of these different systems on health system outcomes, using fixed effects regressions. We find that transitions from OOP‐dominant to government‐financed systems improved most outcomes more than did transitions to SHI systems. Transitions to government financing increases life expectancy (+1.3 years, p < 0.05) and reduces under‐5 mortality (−8.7%, p < 0.05) and catastrophic health expenditure incidence (−3.3 percentage points, p < 0.05). Results are robust to several sensitivity tests. It is more likely that increases in non‐contributory government financing rather than SHI financing improve health system outcomes. Notable reasons include SHI's higher implementation costs and more limited coverage. These results may raise a warning for policymakers considering SHI reforms to reach UHC.
In the current article, we explore the effect of partners’ workplace characteristics on the take-up and intensity of parental leave by mothers and fathers. We use social security records data from 2004 to 2015 for Luxembourg. The results of the analysis reveal that the probability of taking full-time leave is substantially lower among mothers and fathers working in very small companies than among their counterparts in larger firms, whereas working in a small-sized company is related to higher probability of taking part-time leave. Mothers working in companies in predominantly female-dominated sectors, such as education, health, and social services, are more likely to take parental leave than their counterparts employed in other sectors. With regard to the effect of partners’ workplace characteristics, fathers’ take-up of parental leave is associated with the economy sector of their partner, whereas mothers’ take-up correlates with their partners’ workplace size.
This article reviews the peer-reviewed and grey literature published from January 1985 to November 2022 that has quantitatively evaluated the effects of personalized budgets for people with disabilities (PwDs), in terms of a range of benefit and cost outcomes. Benefit metrics of interest comprised measures of well-being, service satisfaction and use, quality of life, health, and unmet needs. A search was conducted using the PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL, ASSIA, and Social Care Online databases. Based on inclusion criteria and a quality assessment using the Downs and Black Checklist, a final count of 23 studies were identified for in-depth review. Given the heterogeneous nature of the studies, a narrative synthesis, rather than a formal meta-analysis, was undertaken. Taking the relatively scarce and often methodologically limited evidence base at face value, the findings suggest that—overall—personalized budget users tend to benefit in terms of well-being and service satisfaction outcomes, with the exception of mixed effects for people with mental health conditions. Only a minority of studies have investigated the cost-effectiveness or costs-only of personalized budgets, finding mixed results. Two out of the three cost-effectiveness studies find personal budgets to be more cost-effective than alternative options, meaning that the possibly higher costs of personalized budgets may be more than outweighed by additional benefits. Some evidence looking at service use and/or costs only also points to significant reductions in certain service use areas, which at least hints at the potential that personalized budgeting may—in some cases—entail reduced costs. Further research is needed to explore the generalizability of these conclusions and to better capture and understand the factors driving the observed heterogeneity in some of the results.
Given the traditional commitment of trade unions to occupational health and safety standards, unions might have been expected to be strongly involved in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. This article focuses on their policy positions at national and sectoral level towards the occupational health and safety measures taken to limit the spread of Covid-19 in Germany, France and Luxembourg from the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 until the surging fourth wave of infections in November–December 2021. The authors’ data show that unions have found it increasingly difficult over the course of the pandemic to develop policy positions in the domain of occupational health and safety that address the variegated situations and needs of their different member groups and that achieve a balance between membership logics and public health considerations.
The accelerated electrification of transport systems with EVs has brought new challenges for charging scheduling, fleet management, and charging infrastructure location and configuration planning. In this review, we have provided a systematic review of the recent development in strategic, tactical, and operational decisions for demand responsive transport system planning using electric vehicles (EV-DRT). We have summarized recent developments in mathematical modeling approaches by focusing on the problems of dynamic EV-DRT optimization, fleet sizing, and charging infrastructure planning. A list of existing open-access datasets, numerical test instances, and software are provided for future research in EV-DRT and related problems. Current research gaps are identified and future research directions are discussed.
Over the first half of March 2021, the majority of European governments suspended Astrazeneca’s Vaxzevria vaccine as a precaution following media reports of rare blood clots. We analyse the impact of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) March 18th statement assuring the public of the safety of Vaxzevria and the immediate reinstatement of the vaccine by most countries on respondents’ intention to get vaccinated. By relying on survey data collected in Luxembourg and neighbouring areas between early March and mid-April, we observe that the willingness to be vaccinated was severely declining in the days preceding the EMA statement. We implement a regression discontinuity design exploiting the time at which respondents completed the survey and find that the vaccine reinstatement substantially restored vaccination intentions.
The social and spatial integration of knowledge-related urban development projects into their urban environment is seen by policymakers as a necessity to unlock local and regional growth dynamics and regeneration. However, the understanding of socio-spatial integration, and how it can be scientifically analysed and interpreted at a local scale remains somewhat vague when the concept is not approached in its totality and measured by unidimensional indicators. The current article first proposes a holistic and multidimensional analytical framework to measure and analyse the socio-spatial integration of knowledge districts. Then, it focuses on one specific dimension – the structural dissimilarities between territories – and suggests an indicator-based multivariate analysis that is applied to the case of Belval, in Esch/Alzette (Luxembourg). Our findings for the Belval case study show that the structural dissimilarities between knowledge districts and adjacent neighbourhoods are mainly due to the young, international and professional profile of the population this place attracts, while differentials in terms of socio-economic status are much less significant than expected. In other words, the specificity of this knowledge district lies in the educational and migratory backgrounds of its inhabitants, rather than in their economic wealth. Accordingly, we call for a more nuanced debate concerning the urban integration of knowledge districts.
Aim of this study was to test the reliability and validity of the life-space measures and walking speed delivered by the MOBITEC-GP app. Participants underwent several supervised walking speed assessments as well as a 1-week life-space assessment during two assessment sessions 9 days apart. Fifty-seven older adults (47.4% male, mean age= 75.3 (±5.9) years) were included in the study. The MOBITEC-GP app showed moderate to excellent test-retest reliability (ICCs between 0.584 and 0.920) and validity (ICCs between 0.468 and 0.950) of walking speed measurements of 50 meters and above and of most 1-week life-space parameters, including life-space area, time spent out-of-home, and action range. The MOBITEC-GP app for Android is a reliable and valid tool for the assessment of real-life walking speed (at distances of 50 metres and above) and life-space parameters of older adults. Future studies should look into technical issues more systematically in order to avoid invalid measurements.
Pace of aging is an epigenetic clock which captures the speed at which someone is biologically aging compared to the chronological-age peers. We here use data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to investigate the interrelation between the study children's parental social class at birth, and their pace of aging and cognitive skills measures in childhood and adolescence. We show that children from lower parental social classes display faster pace of aging and that the social class gradient in pace of aging is strongest in adolescence. About one third of this association can be explained by other socio-economic and demographic covariates, as well as life events. Similarly, study children's pace of aging manifests a negative association with their measures of cognitive skills in late adolescence only. This association becomes stronger as the contemporary pace of aging of the mother becomes faster. Our results seem to identify adolescence as the period of life when pace of aging, family environment and cognitive skills measures begin to interact.
The progress of microtransit services across the world has been slower than expected due to institutional, operational, and financial barriers. However, how users' ride experiences and system attributes affects their future ride decisions remain an important issue for successful deployment. A Bayesian network approach is proposed to infer users’ next ride decisions on a microtransit service based on historical ride data from Kussbus, a pilot microtransit system operating in the Belgium–Luxembourg cross-border areas in 2018. The results indicate that the proposed Bayesian network approach could reveal a plausible causal relationship between different dependent factors compared to the classical multinomial logit modeling approach. By examining public transport coverage in the study area, we find that Kussbus complements the existing public transport and provides an effective alternative to personal car use.
Introduction Multimorbidity, defined as the co-existence of two or more chronic conditions, is affecting an increasing number of Europeans, leading to poorer quality of life (QoL). This study assessed how functional limitation affects the QoL trajectories in a cohort of older individuals having multimorbidity, and whether there are any gender differences in these effects. Methods We used a longitudinal cohort of 906 multimorbid respondents 50 years of age or older from Luxembourg who participated in four waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (2013-2020). We used the Control, Autonomy, Self-Realization, and Pleasure scale (CASP-12) to assess QoL and the Global Activity Limitation Indicator (GALI) to measure functional limitation. Multigroup latent growth curve (LGC) modeling techniques were employed to assess how the measures of functional limitation over time are related to QoL trajectories and whether or not these effects are different by sex. Results In 2013, over 60% of older residents of Luxembourg were affected by multimorbidity. The results from the LGC models suggest that both men and women with multimorbidity experienced a statistically significant decline in QoL between 2013 and 2020 at a constant rate; there were no significant differences in the rate of this change between men and women. The level of QoL at baseline and over time was significantly lower for individuals reporting functional limitation. However, functional limitation had no significant impact on the rate of decline in QoL for both men and women. Discussion and conclusions As an increasing number of individuals in Europe are becoming vulnerable to more years lived with multiple chronic conditions, there is a growing need to identify factors that may lead to improvements in QoL among people affected by multimorbidity. Gaining more knowledge on the role of functional limitation may be particularly important for planning comprehensive care for patients with multimorbidity.
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116 members
Antoine Decoville
  • Urban Development and Mobility
Nicolas Poussing
  • Labor Market Department
Martin Dijst
  • Urban Development and Mobility
Philippe Gerber
  • Urban Development and Mobility
Eugenio Peluso
  • Living Conditions
11, Porte des Sciences, L-4366, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Head of institution
Prof. Aline Muller
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