Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute
Recent publications
Economic precariousness has taken on a central role in explanations of the postponement of childbearing in developed societies. However, most studies conceptualize and operationalize precariousness as being static and one-dimensional, which provides only a partial perspective on the links between precariousness and fertility. In this paper, we study precariousness as a dynamic and multidimensional concept, distinguishing between past and current precariousness as well as between precariousness relating to income and to employment. Analyses are based on Dutch full-population register data. We select all inhabitants of the Netherlands who left education in 2006 and follow them until 2018. Event history analyses show that current and past income and employment precariousness all have independent negative effects on the first birth rate for men. Current and past employment precariousness and past income precariousness also reduce the first birth rate for women, but current income precariousness increases women's probability of first conception. When precariousness is both persistent and multidimensional, it is associated with a threefold decrease in the monthly probability of conceiving a first child for men and almost a halving of the probability for women. Our analyses show the need for going beyond static and one-dimensional analyses in order to understand how economic precariousness may affect fertility behaviour. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10680-022-09617-4.
In this paper, we introduce cohort succession in the study of marriage behaviour among the children of immigrants. Research among majority populations in developed countries has shown an overall increase in age at first marriage. Yet whether a similar change is occurring across successive cohorts of children of immigrants is unknown but relevant given the growing shares of children of immigrants in developed countries. Using full population register data from the Netherlands, we test the theoretical assumptions of cohort succession with event history models for the timing of first marriage across entire Turkish and Moroccan second-generation birth cohorts. In line with the expectations based on diffusion theories, we find clear evidence that younger birth cohorts postpone marriage. Moreover, the marriage timing of especially the Turkish second generation and Dutch majority population converges across birth cohorts. Our findings call for a more differentiated study of the children of immigrants acknowledging diffusion of new demographic behaviour among these groups.
Union dissolution is a critical event for women’s living standards. Previous work has found that women in high-income unions lose more from union dissolution than women in low-income unions. This study proposes two mechanisms to explain this “convergence” in living standards. The compensation mechanism concerns the ability to compensate the loss of partner earnings with alternative sources of income, whereas the partner independence mechanism concerns how much women stand to lose from dissolution in the first place. To test these mechanisms, the author drew on a unique administrative dataset from the Netherlands, covering women who experienced dissolution within ten years after union formation ( N = 57,960). A decomposition analysis showed that convergence was not driven by compensation: women from all income groups decreased their household size and re-partnered, women from low-income unions increased transfer income, and women from high-income unions increased personal earnings and decreased tax payments. Instead, convergence was driven by partner independence: women from lower-income unions depended relatively less on their partners because they relied more on transfer income prior to dissolution. These results demonstrate how partners’ interdependence moderates the consequences of life events. The welfare state plays a crucial role in this process.
Subjective well-being research increasingly uses web surveys to understand how subjective well-being indicators are related to other concepts of interest. Although we know that mean scores on these indicators may differ between modes, we know little about whether a move to web will influence the conclusions we draw about our conceptual models. This study uses data from a unique mixed-mode survey collected in Croatia and Germany as part of the Generations and Gender Programme to examine whether the relationships between a range of subjective well-being indicators and a set of objective and subjective determinants differ between respondents answering these questions in face-to-face or web mode. Although respondents report lower subjective well-being in web than in face-to-face mode, the relationships between these variables and a range of objective and subjective indicators are relatively stable across modes. This suggests that substantive conclusions about antecedents of subjective well-being do not depend on whether data are collected via a face-to-face interview or through web survey.
Background Major depressive disorder (MDD) onset varies by socioeconomic position (SEP), this could be explained by lifestyle factors, but little is known about this pathway. Our study aims to disentangle the interplay between SEP measures (i.e., education, income and occupational prestige) and MDD onset and to examine to what extent these associations are mediated by lifestyle (i.e., occupational- and leisure time physical activity, smoking, alcohol intake, diet quality, sleep and central adiposity). Methods A subsample (n = 76,045) of the Lifelines Cohort Study without MDD at baseline was included. MDD onset was measured after a median follow-up time of 3.8 years with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Direct associations between SEP, lifestyle and MDD onset were estimated using logistic regression analyses. Mediating percentages were estimated using the Karlson-Holm-Breen method. Results 1864 participants (2.5 %) showed MDD at follow-up. SEP was inversely associated with MDD onset, with education showing the strongest association. Educational- and income differences in MDD onset were for 18.7 % and 5.9 % explained by lifestyle factors (mainly smoking, alcohol intake and central adiposity). Occupational prestige differences in MDD onset were not explained by lifestyle factors. Limitations SEP and lifestyle factors were measured simultaneously at baseline. MDD status (only based on a screening tool) was only measured at baseline and 3.8 years later. Conclusions Compared to their lower SEP counterparts, higher SEP individuals had a lower risk of MDD onset. This was partially explained by a healthier lifestyle (mainly less smoking, alcohol intake and central adiposity) of the higher SEP individuals.
There are no unanimous estimates on fertility preferences in China; they vary considerably across studies. Understanding this cross-study heterogeneity of reported preferred family size will contribute to the debates on the uncertainty of fertility in China. This paper quantified how much heterogeneity in aggregate-level fertility preferences can be explained by taking into account the demographic characteristics of the sample, its geographical location, and the measurement of fertility preferences. We retrieved 124 estimates of average preferred family size from 94 publications (from the year 2001 and onwards) in the China National Knowledge Infrastructure database (CNKI) and used mixed-effect meta-regression model to investigate heterogeneity. We found that the average preferred number of children in China since 2001 ranged from 0.91 to 2.88, with an average of 1.70 (SD = 0.26). Demographic differences accounted for 23%, human geographic regionalization for 21%, and the measurement of fertility preferences for 13% of the between-study variation. Sample characteristics (demographic and regional differences) and the measurement of fertility preferences together accounted for 46% of the variation in average preferred fertility. The averaged preferred family size varies by different characteristics and measurement. This study also points out whether particular groups have higher or lower preferences. It helps researchers to put estimates from fertility preferences from single studies in perspective. Moreover, this study can help resolve why researchers have such different outlooks on the future fertility of China.
Background Marriage is considered beneficial for mental health when stable and of high quality. Yet, it is unclear whether marriage is equally advantageous for everyone regardless of marital timing or migrant background. This study aimed to investigate the association between early marriage and mental disorder, defined by outpatient mental healthcare (OPMH) service use, and whether the association varies between migrant and non-migrant women. Methods Using data from four Norwegian national registers, we applied discrete-time logistic regression analyses to study the aims of interest, among 602 473 young women aged 17–35 years. All women were followed from 2006 or the year they turned 17, and until first OPMH consultation, 2015 (study end), the year they turned 35, when emigrated, died, or changed marital status from married to separated, divorced, or widowed. Results Results show that unmarried and early married women had increased odds of mental disorder when compared to on-time married women. However, the differences between the early and on-time married women were explained by differences in educational level. There was no significant interaction between marital status and migrant background. Conclusions Differences in mental health between early- and on time married women are attributed to poorer educational attainment of women who marry early. Furthermore, migrant background seems to have a limited role in the association between marital timing and mental disorder. The promotion of formal education among young women could contribute to the accumulation of socioeconomic and psychosocial resources, thus, reducing the risk of mental disorder, also among early married women.
Background: This study investigates (1) whether different employment transition types (ie, unemployment, work disability, early retirement and regular retirement) are associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) incidence among older workers (50-64 years) and (2) whether occupational group moderates the association between employment transition type and MetS incidence. Methods: A sample of 13 303 older Dutch workers from the Lifelines Cohort Study and Biobank was examined using longitudinal data from two comprehensive measurement waves with a mean follow-up time of 3.7 years. MetS components were based on physical measures, blood markers and medication use. Employment transitions were determined using questionnaires. Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the association between employment transition type and MetS incidence. Results: Older workers who transitioned from employment to unemployment (adjusted OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.82) or work disability (adjusted OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.15 to 3.10) had a significantly higher MetS incidence than the working control group. No association between early retirement or regular retirement with MetS incidence was found after adjusting for sociodemographic, educational and occupational factors. Occupational group did not moderate the association between employment transition type and MetS incidence. Conclusion: The results suggest that older workers who transition from employment to unemployment or work disability are at risk for developing MetS. More awareness among occupational physicians and general practitioners about MetS incidence in late working life is needed in general and more specific among older workers who transition into unemployment or work disability.
We examined whether childhood abuse is related to body mass index (BMI) in young adults and whether this relationship is mediated by depression and anxiety. Data are from the Dutch longitudinal cohort study TRAILS (n females = 836, n males = 719). At wave 4, childhood sexual, physical and verbal abuse, and lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were assessed. BMI was measured at wave 4 and 5 (mean age = 19.2/22.4 years). Sex-stratified structural equation models were estimated. Females who had experienced sexual abuse had a higher BMI at wave 4 (B = 0.97, 95%CI = [−0.01,1.96]) and a higher increase in BMI between wave 4 and 5 (B = 0.52, 95%CI = [0.04,1.01]) than females who had not experienced sexual abuse. Additionally, MDD and BMI at wave 4 were related in females (B = 1.35, 95%CI = [0.52,2.18]). MDD mediated the relationship between sexual abuse and BMI at wave 4 in females. In addition, sexual abuse moderated the relationship between MDD and BMI at wave 4. The relationship was stronger among females who had experienced sexual abuse than among females who had not. Prevention of BMI changes among females who experienced sexual abuse may thus be warranted, particularly when they developed MDD. MDD treatment, such as abuse-focused psychotherapy, may aid this prevention.
How many people will likely move in the decades to come? And where will they come from and move to? Policymakers worldwide have a keen interest in these questions. While long-term developments in international migration patterns are relevant for the demography and economy of a country, sudden flows—for example, in the case of humanitarian emergencies—pose institutional challenges regarding reception capacities, health systems, housing, education, and training programs amongst others. This chapter reviews key concepts related to migration scenarios and forecasting. It outlines different qualitative and quantitative approaches, compares different studies, and discusses the potential use of various techniques for academic and policy audiences.
Scenario planning has been gaining popularity during the last decade as a tool for exploring how international migration flows might be affected by changing future circumstances. Using this technique, scholars have developed narratives that describe how flows might change depending on different developments in two of their most impactful and uncertain drivers. Current applications of scenario planning to migration however suffer from limitations that reduce the insights that can be derived from them. In this article, we first highlight these limitations by reviewing existing applications of scenario planning to migration. Then, we propose a new approach that consists in specifying different pathways of change in a set of six predefined drivers, to then ask migration scholars how each of these pathways might impact both migration flows and the other five drivers. We apply our approach to the case of migration pressure and demand from less developed countries to Europe until the year 2050. Results from our survey underscore the importance of a wide array of drivers for the future of migration that have so far not been considered in previous applications of scenario planning. They further suggest that drivers do not change independently from each other, but that specific changes in some drivers are likely to go hand in hand with changes in other drivers. Lastly, we find that changes in similar drivers could have different effects in sending and receiving countries. We finish by discussing how enhanced, quantified scenarios of migration between less developed countries and Europe can be formulated based on our results.
Studies on the relationship between racial composition and interracial hate crimes are largely cross-sectional, while little is known about longitudinal developments. This paper examines the impact of longitudinal changes in the racial composition of regions on interracial hate crimes in the USA. We use official statistics on 120,000 White on Black hate crimes that were committed across 3500 regions in the period between 1990 and 2014. Applying longitudinal multi-level modelling, we find that during this period there was an overall decline in interracial hate crimes. Furthermore, our results reveal that the decline was more pronounced in regions that witnessed a significant reduction in the share of Whites. Despite concerns that increasing racial diversity may lead to more interracial animosity and hate crimes, our study suggests the opposite. As the numerical predominance of White people in USA erodes, the number of White on Black hate crimes decreases.
This paper examines the impact of unemployment on out‐migration by distinguishing between return and onward migration and controlling for total earnings. We use Timing‐of‐Events models and control for the endogeneity of total earnings, unemployment and out‐migration using administrative data from the Netherlands. Our findings suggest that unemployment triggers return migration more than onward migration. When total earnings are low unemployment increases the hazard of return migration. When total earnings are high the hazard rate of onward migration for unemployed immigrants increases. Thus, these findings highlight that out‐migration is affected both by unemployment and by total earnings as well as by the interaction between the two.
Research suggests that loneliness among sexual minority adults is associated with marginalization, but it is unclear which processes may underlie this relationship. This cross-sectional study examined five possibilities: stigma preoccupation, internalized homonegativity, sexual orientation concealment, social anxiety, and social inhibition. The study also examined the possible protective role of LGBTQ community involvement. Respondents were 7856 sexual minority adults aged 18–88 years from 85 countries who completed an online survey. Results of structural equation modeling indicated that marginalization was positively associated with both social and emotional loneliness, and that part of this relationship was indirect via proximal minority stress factors (especially stigma preoccupation) and, in turn, social anxiety and social inhibition. Moreover, while LGBTQ community involvement was associated with greater marginalization, it was also associated with lower levels of proximal stress and both forms of loneliness. Among those who were more involved in the LGBTQ community, the associations between marginalization and proximal stress were somewhat weaker, as were those between stigma preoccupation and social anxiety, and between social inhibition and social loneliness. In contrast, the associations between concealment and social anxiety were somewhat stronger. Model fit and patterns of association were similar after controlling for the possible confounding effect of dispositional negative affectivity, but several coefficients were lower. Findings underscore the continuing need to counter marginalization of sexual minorities, both outside and within the LGBTQ community, and suggest possible avenues for alleviating loneliness at the individual level, such as cognitive-behavioral interventions targeting stigma preoccupation and social anxiety.
Ethnic minorities from more traditional countries tend to hold more conservative views towards homosexuality compared to the ethnic majority population in Western Europe. Assimilation theory predicts that this difference diminishes over time because of exposure and contact between these groups. The role of ethnic classroom composition in this process of cultural assimilation is poorly understood. Therefore, this article examines the role of the country of origin of adolescents and their classroom peers in the assimilation of attitudes towards homosexuality. Using two-wave panel data on 18,058 students in 867 classrooms in England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, we find that the attitudes towards homosexuality in classroom peers’ country of origin are positively associated with attitudes towards homosexuality of respondents in the first wave but have no effect on subsequent changes in these attitudes over a two-year period. We find some variations in this association according to individual-level characteristics, but these results are not consistent across the countries that we study. Together, these results suggest that the classroom is an important socializing context in the formation of cultural values, and that its influence is relatively uniform across groups.
The welfare state can be perceived as a safety net which helps individuals adjust to situations of risk or transition. Starting from this idea of the welfare state as safety net, this study addresses whether and how welfare generosity may influence people’s willingness to migrate. In doing so, we distinguish between two potential mechanisms, innovatively focusing on welfare provisions in both the country of origin and destination. First, a generous welfare system in the country of origin may have a retaining impact, as individuals may be unwilling to migrate to countries offering less social protection. Second, generous welfare provisions in the country of destination may enable migration for individuals who are more intolerant of uncertainty and who otherwise would prefer to remain immobile. We test both mechanisms using stated preference data collected with a unique experimental design among over 300 Dutch Master students. Confirming the first mechanism, we indeed find that respondents report a lower willingness to migrate when evaluating hypothetical scenarios where the level of social protection was higher in the country of origin as compared with the country of destination. Furthermore, and in line with the second mechanism, individuals who are more intolerant of uncertainty generally report a lower willingness to migrate, yet their willingness to migrate increases for scenarios with higher levels of unemployment benefits. Our findings, thus, indeed suggest that welfare arrangements are mainly serving a safety net function and need to be understood in relative terms between the country of origin and destination.
Since the beginning of 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its lockdowns have changed the current lives of young people drastically. Given the importance of future orientations for young people’s mental well-being, it is important to investigate if and how this lockdown affected young people’s future orientations. In this study, 34 Dutch young people (aged 16–24) with diverse backgrounds were interviewed during the lockdown of spring 2020 in the Netherlands. Results showed that young people experienced effects of COVID-19 on their current lives and short-term futures, but according to these young people, their long-term futures would not be affected by the first COVID-19 lockdown. The latter finding may be explained by young people’s assumed temporality of the pandemic, their general optimistic attitudes, two-track thinking, strong feelings of agency and flexibility.
There is widespread speculation that baby boomers will make significant changes to the retirement landscape. Some attribute these changes, at least in part, to countercultural movements this generation pioneered during the sixties and seventies. However, empirical investigation into the long-term impact of countercultural identification in youth is scarce. To address this, our study examines associations between baby boomers’ retirement views and identification with counterculture. Using data from 6024 pre-retired Dutch older workers, we investigate whether greater identification with counterculture is associated with more active retirement views. Our results show that greater identification with counterculture is associated with more active retirement views, even when controlling for potential confounders. Beyond highlighting the diversity of the baby boom generation, these findings support the idea that (counter)cultural identity in youth has an impact across the life course and may therefore have implications for other key questions of life’s third age beyond retirement.
Background Giving birth to one’s first child is a life changing event. Beyond the post-partum period, little is known about the association between becoming a mother and mental disorder among migrant women. This study investigates outpatient mental health (OPMH) service use, a proxy for mental disorder, among married migrant and non-migrant women who become mothers and those who do not. Methods Using Norwegian register data, we followed 90,195 married women, aged 18-40 years, with no children at baseline between 2008-2013 to see if becoming a mother was associated with OPMH service use. Data were analysed using discrete time analyses. Results We found an interaction between motherhood and migrant category. Married non-migrant mothers, both in the perinatal period and beyond, had lower odds of OPMH use than married non-mothers. There was no association between motherhood and OPMH service use for migrants. However, there was no significant interaction between motherhood and migrant category when we excluded women who had been in Norway less than five years. Among women aged 25-40 years, a stable labour market attachment was associated with lower odds of OPMH use for non-migrants but not migrants, regardless of motherhood status. Conclusions The perinatal period is not associated with increased odds of OPMH use and appears to be associated with lower odds for married non-migrant women. Selection effects and barriers to care may explain the lack of difference in OPMH service use that we found across motherhood status and labour market attachment for married migrant women. Married migrant women in general have a lower level of OPMH use than married non-migrants. Married migrant women with less than five years in Norway and those with no/weak labour market attachment may experience the greatest barriers to care. Further research to bridge the gap between need for, and use of, mental health care among migrant women is required.
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50 members
Hendrik P. Van Dalen
  • Work & Retirement
Frans VAN Poppel
  • social demography
Govert Bijwaard
  • Ageing and longevity
Lange Houtstraat 19, 2511CV, The Hague, Netherlands
Head of institution
Helga de Valk
+31 70 3565200