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Population, 2012, n° 1
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Population, 2012, n° 1

2012

Papier

n° ISBN 978-2-7332-3115-9

20,00 €

ARTICLE

Health Crisis in Belarus as Mirrored by Long-Term Trends in Mortality by Causes of Death (1965-2008) - Pavel Grigoriev

QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE OVER-60S IN EUROPE 

How does Living Alone or with a Partner Influence Life Satisfaction among Older Men and Women in Europe? - Joëlle Gaymu, Sabine Springer

  • Gender Differences in Care Home Use among Older Finns and Belgians - Elina K. Einiö, Christine Guilbault, Pekka Martikainen, Michel Poulain
  • Norms of Filial Obligation in the Netherlands - Pearl A. Dykstra, Tineke Fokkema
  • Gender Equality in Pensions: What Role for Rights Accrued as a Spouse or a Parent? - Carole Bonnet, Jean-Michel Hourriez
  • The Treatment of Couples by the Pension System: Survivor’s Pensions and Pension Splitting - Carole Bonnet, Jean-Michel Hourriez

BOOK REVIEWS

  • New approaches to gender
Health Crisis in Belarus as Mirrored by Long-Term Trends in Mortality by Causes of Death (1965-2008)

Pavel Grigoriev

Compared to the other countries of the former USSR, mortality trends in Belarus have received very little attention. Until now, a lack of detailed cause-specific mortality data has been a significant obstacle to mortality research in this country. This article pursues two main objectives: first, to reconstruct continuous cause-specific mortality series for Belarus for the period of 1965 onwards; and second, to analyse the series obtained with a focus on the most important developments. The analysis is based upon original data on causes of death. To overcome the problem of discontinuity in mortality series caused by the periodical revisions in classifications of diseases, we apply the method of a posteriori reconstruction. As a result of this effort, the harmonized cause-specific mortality series are now freely available to the international research community. Our analysis suggests that the mortality dynamics in Belarus over the last half-century have been very unfavourable overall, especially for males. Mortality from cardiovascular diseases, and excessive violent and alcohol-related mortality have remained major public health threats. In view of the deteriorating long-term dynamics of these causes, the epidemiologic situation in Belarus can be characterized as a chronic health crisis.

How does Living Alone or with a Partner Influence Life Satisfaction among Older Men and Women in Europe?

Joëlle Gaymu, Sabine Springer

This article looks at the influence of living conditions on the life satisfaction of men and women over 60 years of age in ten European countries using data from the European survey SHARE 2004 (wave 1). Whether living alone or with a partner, women report being less satisfied with their lives than men. Multivariate analyses show that, depending on living arrangements, differences are not of the same nature. All other things being equal, women living with a partner are still less frequently satisfied with life than men, but the factors determining their well-being are similar. For persons living alone, the finding is reversed: gender has no incidence on the level of life satisfaction, but influences its determinants. For example, women’s subjective well-being is affected by whether or not they are home-owners and, to a lesser extent, by their income level and the quality of their living environment, while for men, the existence of a child is a determinant of well-being. Older women’s life satisfaction is more strongly shaped by their sociocultural context than is the case for men. Women who live alone have different sources of well-being, depending on whether they live in northern or southern Europe. These contrasts mainly emerge in the relationship between family roles and economic status.

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Gender Differences in Care Home Use among Older Finns and Belgians

Elina K. Einiö, Christine Guilbault, Pekka Martikainen, Michel Poulain

In a context of population ageing, it is of particular interest to study the determinants of care home use. This article compares data from registers in Finland (1997-2001) and Belgium (2001-2005). Being a woman is associated with a higher probability of residing in a care home at an older age in both countries, although the gender differences are somewhat larger in Belgium, and the relative gender difference in care home admission is higher in Belgium (hazard ratio = 1.82) than in Finland (1.35). These differences are largely related to the fact that women are older, less likely to be married, less healthy and have a lower socioeconomic status than men in both countries. The female excess in Belgium remained significant after controlling simultaneously for demographic, socioeconomic and health characteristics (hazard ratio = 1.12), while for Finland, the female excess was reversed in the multivariate models (0.91). The results suggest that older women are more dependent on institutional care not only because they have a higher likelihood of being widowed, which reduces their chances of receiving informal care from their married partner, but also because they are, on average, more disadvantaged in terms of material resources.

Norms of Filial Obligation in the Netherlands

Pearl A. Dykstra, Tineke Fokkema

In this article we examine to what extent norms of fi lial obligation in the Netherlands are shaped by group value patterns, family constellation, possibilities for helping others, and actual experiences of support exchange. The data are drawn from the first wave of the combined main and migrant sample of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study, the Dutch participant in the Generations and Gender Programme. The Dutch appear reluctant to prescribe how other people should behave towards their ageing parents. Value patterns are the strongest determinants of filial norms, with migrants, the low-educated, and persons with religious beliefs espousing strong filial norms. Contrary to what traditional gender roles would suggest, women less strongly endorse norms of filial obligation than men, and contrary to the notion that divorce weakens family ties, divorcees and children of divorce do not exhibit less commitment to filial norms. Altruistic tendencies are evident in the weaker filial norms among the older age groups, and among those with non co-resident children. Finally, the results show a high level of consonance between actual support exchanges and filial norms.

Gender Equality in Pensions: What Role for Rights Accrued as a Spouse or a Parent?

Carole Bonnet, Jean-Michel Hourriez

The asymmetry of men’s and women’s roles within couples leads to a large gender gap in individual pensions, which will persist despite both the rise in women’s labour market participation and redistribution in favour of women within the pension system. In the context of stable marriages, the pension system ensures a living standard for women that is equivalent on average to that of men through a single mechanism, that of the survivor’s pension. This will no longer be the case for future cohorts due to the growing instability of conjugal unions. Consequently, while specific redistribution from men to women within the pension system remains justified, a wider range of redistributive mechanisms must be developed, including survivor’s pensions to cover the risk of widowhood; rights accrued as a parent to make up for the impact of children on women’s careers; and finally pension splitting (a solution applied in Germany) to cover (at least in part) the risk of divorce. In a context of greater union instability and increased female labour market participation, a share of the large sums allocated to survivor’s pensions should be redeployed to strengthen rights accrued as a parent.

The Treatment of Couples by the Pension System: Survivor’s Pensions and Pension Splitting

Carole Bonnet, Jean-Michel Hourriez

This paper examines the features of two systems for allocating pension rights accrued as a spouse: the survivor’s pension and pension splitting. The survivor’s pension enables the surviving spouse to maintain his/her living standard after the other spouse’s death: under a non-means-tested system, the higher the survivor’s own pension with respect to that of the deceased spouse, the higher his/her standard of living (or the smaller its decline) after widowhood. This means that the income of widowers is generally higher than that of widows. A pension splitting system, on the other hand, guarantees the same income to both widows and widowers. In the event of divorce, pension splitting provides an own pension to each ex-spouse, independently of their subsequent life choices, and partially equalizes men’s and women’s incomes. But the system penalizes the spouse with the higher income. In the event of death or divorce, equal pension splitting is less costly for the pension system than a non-means-tested survivor’s pension. However, it is rarely an attractive option for the pension recipients, women included. Pension splitting at a higher rate (above 50%), whose overall cost to the pension scheme is equivalent to that of the survivor’s pension, would be an interesting alternative option.