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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Sociology of Social Policy


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Department of Social Sciences | Sociology of Social Policy | News | New Research Project: Cohabition and Wealth in a cross German-French perspective [13.01.2020]

New Research Project: Cohabition and Wealth in a cross German-French perspective [13.01.2020]

At the 1st of January 2020 a new research project, founded by the DAAD, with the topic "The Cohabitation Wealth Premium: Comparing France, East and West Germany" started. In there, Philipp M. Lersch invesigates in cooperation with Marion Leturcq from the Institut national d’études démographiques the effects and consequences of cohabitation for wealth. In Europe, the stark increase in heterosexual cohabitation, i.e. women and men living together as a couple without being married, is one of the most important demographic changes in families in the last decades. The knowledge about how cohabitation, which is differently legally regulated and culturally accepted across social contexts, influences the life chances of individuals across these contexts is limited, however. In particular, the consequences of cohabitation for the economic wealth of couples are not clear. While marriage has been linked to a wealth premium, there is no evidence whether such positive consequences extend to cohabitation. Therefore, this timely and innovative project examines the association between cohabitation and wealth paying close attention to the distinct legal and cultural contexts in France, East, and West Germany.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Department of Social Sciences | Sociology of Social Policy | News | Article featured in Special Issue of the ESR [18.09.2019]

Article featured in Special Issue of the ESR [18.09.2019]

Philipp M. Lersch, Marita Jacob and Karsten Hank have recently published an article in the new Virtual Special Issue of the European Sociological Review, which is a collection of outstanding research on the topic of “Inequality over the Life Course”. In the article “Parenthood, Gender, and Personal Wealth“ they analyse the gender-specific association between parenthood and the growth of personal wealth over time and find restrictions in the wealth accumulation of mothers compared to childless women and fathers. We are pleased to be featured next to other relevant and interesting articles!


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Department of Social Sciences | Sociology of Social Policy | News | Our research group on the road... [18.07.2019]

Our research group on the road... [18.07.2019]

During this summer, we presented our research at several conferences and participated in different workshops. Daria Tisch showed the first results of our factorial survey experiment at an ECSR workshop in Stockholm in mid-May. She will also present these findings at the RC28 Social Stratification conference in August at Princeton University, USA. Later in May, Theresa Nutz spoke on employment trajectories and wealth at older ages at the workshop “New Social Risks and Pension Policies”, which took place at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Furthermore, Nicole Kapelle presented her research on the accumulation of wealth in marriage at the workshop “Money within the household: new frontiers in research, new directions for law and policy” at Oxford University in July.

Apart from presenting our research, we also focused on methodological and academic training. Manuel Schechtl participated in a workshop on financing public goods in Darmstadt in late June. In addition, he learned about the usage of harmonised data on income and wealth (LIS and LWS) in a one-week intensive course in Luxembourg. Daria Tisch acquired knowledge on how to use the programming language “Python” to analyze Big Data by participating in a workshop in Cologne in July.

We are thankful for the fruitful discussions following our presentations and look forward to including the feedback as well as our new knowledge in our further research.

First data collection completed [29.03.2019]

In August and September 2018, our module „Subjective Fairness of Within-Couple Inequalities in Ownership and Control of Savings“ was collected as part of the GESIS Panel. The GESIS Panel, a probability-based mixed-mode access panel, collects data every two months and offers the social science community an opportunity to collect survey data for their research projects.

In our study, we use a factorial survey experiment to examine the following question: How do individuals judge the fairness of different savings arrangements (ownership and control) within married couples? In order to answer this research question, the respondents were asked to evaluate five different scenarios of a hypothetical couple. The scenarios describe different degrees of inequality in ownership (i.e., who formally owns the savings) and control (i.e., who decides when and for what the savings are spent) of a couple’s savings. We have presented first results at the GESIS Panel User Conference in March 2019. The results show that respondents evaluate situations as fairest when spouses have a joint account with equal control. This suggests that the norm of marital sharing is widespread. Furthermore, we show that the control dimension is more important for fairness evaluation than the ownership dimension.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Department of Social Sciences | Sociology of Social Policy | News | Workshop "Inequality within Couples" at the 1.10/2.10.2018

Workshop "Inequality within Couples" at the 1.10/2.10.2018

At the beginning of October our workshop took place at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Over 30 participants from different disciplines  and countries discussed their recent research on economic inequalities within couples. Thanks to all participants for the interesting talks and the lively exchange. To stay in touch and further enhance the exchange,  we  established a mailing list (couple_inequality@lists.hu-berlin.de). This mailing list may be used to exchange news about call for papers, published papers, job opportunities as well as other ideas and announcements. Please subscribe to the mailing list by sending an e-mail with the subject "subscribe couple_inequality" (no content) to sympa@lists.hu-berlin.de