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2nd Consortium Board Meeting

2nd Consortium Board Meeting

15 - 16 December 2000
Berlin Germany

The second meeting of the Consortium Board was held on 15–16 December 2000 in Berlin (Germany). It was hosted by the Social Science Research Centre in Berlin, chaired by Mr. John Hobcraft and partially funded by the MPIDR. Mr. John Hobcraft was elected Chair of the Board.

DG Research decision

The Board discussed implications of the decisions of the DG Research not to fund the programme for the time being. It also considered their suggestion to the Consortium to submit the project proposal in response to the next call. It is expected that this call will invite proposals for "infrastructure project," such as GGP. The Board was unanimous in its view that the proposal should be resubmitted. It was also of the opinion that its views on objectives for the programme, including research agenda and related data collection activities should be presented to a first meeting of the Informal Working Group before being integrated into the project proposal prior to resubmission.

Discussion notes

Several persons were asked to prepare a discussion note for this meeting.

Mr. Hobcraft introduced his note on Fertility and Partnership Issues in Relation to Social Exclusion and Well-being. He emphasized that the programme should ideally aim at a prospective longitudinal survey, as it would make it possible for future research to get a better handle on the influences of background circumstances on various decisions (related to childbearing for example). If, however, this proves impossible, the programme should focus on recent changes and ask the respondents about their perceptions as to whether these changes were favourable or not for certain decision.

Liefbroer, P. Dykstra and J. Gierveld’s background paper on Studying Intergenerational Transfers in Comparative Research was introduced by Mr. Liefbroer. The paper focused not so much on the demographic processes, but rather on their consequences. It outlined the reasons for including questions on intergenerational transfers in the GGP and the feasibility of a battery of questions on that topic.

A discussion note on Welfare and Quality of Life Survey Research — the German Tradition was introduced by Mr. Habich. The author focused on the operalization of the key concepts related to welfare and quality of life. He described how these were handled within the German Welfare Surveys and the Euromodule, which was conducted in Slovenia, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The ensuing discussion focused mainly on the idea of functional equivalence and how to achieve it in such different contexts as the west European societies and the countries with economies in transition.

Ms. Pinnelli introduced her note on Gender Aspects of GGP Research and Related Data Collection. She emphasized that using a panel design is crucial for elucidating the dynamics of gender relations. Further, Ms. Pinnelli focused on the instrument of a future survey.

Mr. Festy introduced his note What is a Minimum Set of Life Histories to Study as Part of GGP? He organized his presentation along the information that could be collected at three levels of aggregation: micro, mezzo and macro. At the micro–level Mr. Festy suggested that the Generations and Gender Survey might follow the FFS spirit. At the mezzo–level, Mr. Festy suggested to collect information on the co–residence history at any point in time. The main problem at the macro–level is how to integrate the macro–contextual variables with micro–level life histories. Mr. Festy recommended that the Generations and Gender Survey adopts a period approach and a geographic approach in order to introduce macro–level variables. The discussion that followed focused on the “cut–backs” in the life histories proposed by Mr. Festy.

Mr. Lesthaeghe presented his ideas on bringing value orientations and other covariates into GGP research. He highlighted the fact that both family values batteries and other values (political, work, religiosity values) batteries do have an explanatory power for demographic behaviour. He also pleaded for the use of questions on motivations.

Mr. Spéder introduced his note Pros and cons for a panel design of GGS. He emphasized the value of objective possibilities, subjective intentions, realisation of plans and welfare consequences in the context of a panel design.

Mr. Golini introduced the note prepared by F. Racioppi on Survey at couple level data. A critical evaluation of the Italian experiences with data from 603 couples was given and opportunities for collecting couple level data within the GGS were considered. The conclusion of the Italian experiences is that couple data do not add much to the information obtained from only one of the partners.

What's new?

The Board made a major step towards better defining objectives of the programme and a future comparative survey. As to the research proposal to be submitted to DG Research by the end of 2001, it should be considered as a new proposal, taking into account the good elements of the previous proposal, the comments of the reviewers and the comments made during the July 2000 Meeting. A link between the Generations and Gender title and the five identified research themes needs reconsideration.