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News & Outputs

23 May, 2007

John Stillwell gives presentation at BURISA Conference on 16 May 2007

The Coordinator of the UPTAP Programme, Professor John Stillwell, gave a presentation on the UPTAP initiative at the BURISA Conference on Local vs National Information Systems- Who wins? To view his presentation, please click below:

BURISA UPTAP presentation

13 April, 2007

Building Capacity Through Secondary Data Analysis: Report on the UPTAP Workshop held at University of Leeds, 21-23 March 2007

Over 40 UPTAP researchers and committee members attended this three day workshop to hear about the findings of those projects whose funding has now come to an end, to learn about the new projects getting underway, to discuss ongoing work and how best to disseminate findings from research to both the academic and non-academic sectors.

Day 1: Wednesday 21 March 2007

On the first afternoon, after a brief welcome from the Coordinator, John Stillwell, presentations were made about those projects where funding has now ceased. Daniel Vickers (University of Sheffield) opened the session with a presentation on ‘The changing residential patterns of the UK 1991-2001’. Vickers funding terminated after 6 months when he moved from Leeds to a lectureship at Sheffield but the project is still ongoing with a view to finishing in September 2007. It aims to examine the change in residential patterns over time using census data and geodemographic techniques. Results to date indicate a significant trend in prosperity levels that increase from north to south (with the poorest areas being located in the North East, and the South Eastern cluster being alone in terms of being better off in 2001 than 1991). More significant however, is the finding that the country as a whole appears to be getting poorer over time, although this could be down to data issues which will be explored in more detail as work continues on the project. Several questions from the audience challenged the methodology being used and drew attention to the difficult problems associated with making comparisons over time when geographical units and variable definitions change.

Dan Vicker’s Presentation (ppt)

Eric Kaufmann (Birkbeck College) presented the results of his work on ‘Faith returns to Europe? Religiosity, demography and politics’. Based on data from the European Social Survey (ESS) and the European Values Survey (EVS), this highly publicised project shows there has been a marked decline in religious attendance in secularising countries. However, the rate of decline has flattened in early secularising countries, and despite records of dwindling attendance numbers, decline in religious belief is not so clear-cut. Kaufmann indicated how there is now evidence of stabilisation in the pattern of secularisation, and that high fertility (religious) countries in the world are now outweighing the secularising countries. Other results show that women are significantly more religious than their male counterparts, that religious women have 10-20% higher fertility, that Non-European immigrants are far more religious, and also that Muslim immigrants appear to retain their religiosity almost entirely in their new countries. Kaufmann concluded that it is likely that northwest Europe (and probably all of western Europe) will be more religious by the end of this century than it was at the start; immigration is set to have a powerful effect on these trends.

Eric Kaufmann’s Presentation (ppt)

John Stillwell (University of Leeds) presented findings from the work conducted by Roona Simpson (University of Edinburgh) in her absence on the topic of ‘Delayed childbearing and childlessness in Britain: the 1958 and 1970 cohorts compared’. The propensity to childlessness amongst adults in their early thirties was highlighted, and a persistent association of childbearing with marriage was made evident. The decline in large families over the two cohorts, and the ‘postponement’ of childbirth were partly explained by dramatic changes in partnership as well as parenthood; while increased cohabitation was shown to account for some of the fertility decline, other analyses of the birth cohort studies demonstrated there was also a rise in relationship dissolution.

Roona Simpson’s Presentation (ppt)

Yaojun Li (University of Birmingham) presented his work on ‘Period, life-cycle and generational effects on ethnic minority success in the labour market’, highlighting the different disadvantages faced by first and second generation immigrants in the British labour market (for example language deficiency and class legacy respectively). After pooling data together from major surveys including the General Household Survey (GHS) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS), results from this project indicated that first generation Black groups had similar employment rates to the second generation but first generation Pakistani/Bangladeshi groups were much less likely to be employed than the second generation and were less than half as likely to have a job as the White British. Second generation men of Black Caribbean, Indian and Pakistani/Bangladeshi origin also significantly improved their likelihood of gaining access to the salariat as compared with the first generation, and the same was found for Indian and Pakistani/Bangladeshi women.

Yaojun Li’s Presentation (ppt)

In the second session under the chairmanship of Phil Rees (University of Leeds), Anita Ratcliffe (University of Bristol) gave a presentation entitled ‘Does fertility respond to financial incentives? Evidence from UK welfare reform’. This project aimed to firstly understand the trends in fertility in the UK, and secondly to investigate the impact of welfare reform on fertility. Data from the Family Expenditure Survey (FES) 1968/1990-2004, and the Family Resources Survey (FRS) 1995-2004 were analysed, and findings included an increase in fertility of women in low education/earnings groups, consistent with the impact of welfare reform brought about under New Labour (increased financial help for low-income families); that women with higher education levels have lower fertility, and that women at different stages in life-cycle have similar responses to fertility incentives.

Anita Ratcliffe’s Presentation (ppt)

Shu-Li Cheng (University of Manchester) presented ‘An analysis of the relationship between time spent on active leisure and educational qualifications’. The initial objectives of this project included applying zero-inflated modelling approach in the UK 2000 Time Use Survey to estimate the amount of time spent on infrequent activities, and to examine the relationship between educational qualifications and active leisure. Cheng illustrated that the effect of educational qualifications is significant for participating in leisure walking and in active sports after controlling for other explanatory variables, and that gender differences are found in active leisure as men are more likely to participate than women, and they also spend longer time doing it. Other findings include the fact that income influences both participation and the amount of time spent on active leisure, and day of the week is highly significant in predicting time spent on active leisure, as more time is spent on this activity over the weekend than during the week.

Shu-Li Cheng’s Presentation (ppt)

Finally, Harriet Young (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) presented. Her findings on ‘Living arrangements, health and well-being from a European perspective’, giving insights into the consequences of living alone on health and well being. Through analyses of datasets including the Longitudinal Survey (LS), English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the ESS, Young presented findings proving a clear association between living alone and higher levels of depression, loneliness and unhappiness. Women’s self-rated health was found to be higher than the male equivalent, although findings on the whole for self-rated perception of health were contradictory.

Harriet Young’s Presentation (ppt)

Day 2: Thursday 22 March 2007

In the initial session, chaired by Debbie Phillips (University of Leeds), presentations were made relating to three new UPTAP projects which have recently got underway or are about to begin. Each speaker introduced their project, outlined the aims, objectives and methodologies to be used, and indicated the research questions to be addressed.

The first speaker was Gopalakrishnan Netuveli (Imperial College), who aims, through his Mid-career Fellowship to investigate the inter-relationship of trajectories of employment status and health using the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and ELSA. His research question to be addressed is how trajectories of labour force participation vary within a given pattern of illness?

Gopal Netuveli’s Presentation (ppt)

John Stillwell (University of Leeds) introduced a project that is about to commence with Serena Hussain (University of Leeds) entitled ‘Internal migration of Britain’s ethnic populations’. The focus of this research will be on the ‘ethno-migration’ within Britain during the year before the 2001 Census but also examining changes between 1991 and 2001, using data from the 2001 Census Key Statistics and Special Migration Statistics (SMS), and the 2001 Census Samples of Anonymised Records (SAR). The project aims to address questions such as: is immigration fuelling processes of ethnic spatial concentration and is internal migration creating deconcentration? The study will be conducted at national, district and ward scales, including a detailed analysis of movements within London Boroughs.

Serena Hussain and John Stillwell’s Presentation (ppt)

Finally, Michelle Jackson (University of Oxford) introduced her project on ‘Investigating inequalities in educational attainment’. She aims to examine the relative importance of primary and secondary effects in creating inequalities in educational attainment, based on data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) and Youth Cohort Study (YCS), using the three variables of class, academic performance and transition to A level. Jackson plans to examine later educational transition from school to university, and to explore ethnic and sex inequalities in educational attainment.

Michelle Jackson’s Presentation (ppt)

The next session, chaired by Heather Joshi (Institute of Education) consisted of three presentations from postgraduate students affiliated to the UPTAP programme. Sarah Bulloch (University of Surrey) who is working in collaboration with Nick Allum and Patrick Sturgis on the UPTAP project ‘Social and political trust: A longitudinal and comparative perspective’ spoke about ‘Exploring interpersonal trust from a gender perspective’. Bulloch described trust as a salient concept, but highlighted that the bigger picture involves how to measure trust, its trends and its causes. She presented data from the ESS illustrating the substantial variance of social trust across countries within Europe. Findings to date have brought to light gender differences within certain countries, depending on the form of measurement, for example the Gender Trust Question (GTQ) indicates male-oriented gender-trust gaps in Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Slovenia and Portugal.

Sarah Bulloch’s Presentation (ppt)

Dylan Kneale (Institute of Education), who is involved in the UPTAP project, ‘Motherhood and Child Outcomes: the consequences of timing of motherhood and mothers’ employment on child outcomes’ with Kirstine Hansen, Heather Joshi and Denise Hawkes (Institute of Education), spoke about ‘The predictors and consequences of early parenthood’. Using data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS), and the British Cohort Study (BCS70), he is aiming to answer questions such as: when should parenthood be thought of as being early and what are the factors that predict early parenthood? Long-term aims include examining the effects of contextual factors and interactions with age at first parenthood on the outcomes of mothers and children.

Dylan Kneale’s Presentation

Joan Wilson (Institute of Education), associated with the same UPTAP project as Kneale, spoke about ‘Geographical mobility, pupil mobility and child outcomes’. The focal point of her thesis is examining the spatial relocation activity of parents and how this impacts on their offspring. Research questions include: can outcomes of future cohorts be enhanced or is child progress worsened through moving? And is there a scope for the spatial redistribution of opportunities? The proposed analysis will use data from the National Pupil Database (NPD), and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) older siblings sample, and the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE).

Joan Wilson’s Presentation (ppt)

After lunch, a series of breakout sessions were undertaken, the first of which was to encourage discussion and ideas regarding future UPTAP workshops specifically designed for non-academic audiences and led by Cecilia McIntyre (GRO Scotland) and Rob Lewis (Greater London Council). The outcome of these discussions can be viewed below:

Workshop ideas from breakout session

After a reporting back session, Rob Proctor (National Centre for e-Social Science, University of Manchester) gave a presentation on ‘How can e-Social Science Promote the Re-use of Data?’ Proctor introduced the aims of the National Centre for e-Social Science, and emphasised new technology as a means to use data more effectively. He described the grid (software infrastructure that enables resource sharing) as a plug into resources, and stressed the need for better tools such as this to deal with ‘the deluge of data on the web’. He stressed that the need to build ability to verify results was essential, and so too was dialogue between the creators and users of these new technologies. This presentation drew a good deal of skepticism from the audience and provoked a lot of interaction.

Rob Proctor’s Presentation (ppt)

The second breakout session involved discussing the means of dissemination to academic audiences, and groups were asked to discuss book proposals, and to brainstorm ideas of how UPTAP could be involved in ESRC’s Social Science week 2008. Reporting back followed, and the resulting ideas can be read in the word document below.

Feedback from second breakout session

Before close of the day, John Stillwell (University of Leeds) gave a short presentation on future activities for the UPTAP programme.

John Stillwell’s Presentation (ppt)

Day 3: Friday 23 March 2007

Three new User Fellowships have recently been commissioned and details of the projects were presented on this final morning, under the chairmanship of Mark Birkin (University of Leeds). Paul Boyle (University of St Andrews) spoke on behalf of Orian Brook (Audiences London) on a project entitled ‘Demographic indicators of cultural consumption’. This project, using box office administrative data from arts venues, aims to investigate who benefits from the investment in the subsidised arts sector. Brook will investigate what the geodemographic and socio-economic predictors of arts attendance are, and to see whether they vary for different geographical regions. Census data will also be examined, and it is hoped to create an identification of intelligent clusters of arts attendance areas (AAAs).

Orian Brook and Paul Boyle’s Presentation (ppt)

Domenica Rasulo (Office of National Statistics) gave a presentation about the ‘Decomposition of changes in disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) by cause: England, 1991-2001’. Rasulo defined DFLE as the number of expected years of life without limiting illness affecting normal daily activities, and gave some insights into the type of findings to be achieved through her aims, which included: to quantify the change in disability rate underlying the change in DFLE observed in England in the period 1991-2001, and to identify the causes of disability most responsible for the change in DFLE. Data from the Health Survey for England (HSE) from 1991 to 2001 and the General Household Survey (GHS) are to be used where available. Significant policy implications include discovering information on the relationship between an ageing population and the demand for health care.

Domenica Rasulo’s Presentation (ppt)

Mark Woolley (Family Fund) gave a presentation on ‘Understanding the unmet needs of families with severely disabled children’. The Family Fund charity provides grants to families with severely disabled children aged up to 16 and living in the UK. The aim of this research project is to better understand the decision making undertaken as regards grants. In order to do this, Wooley’s principal research question is: do levels of participation vary according to context – for example the local authority area within which a disabled child lives?

Mark Woolley’s Presentation (ppt)

A poster session for all ongoing UPTAP projects followed for people to discuss their work over coffee, and then Peter Elias (University of Warwick), the ESRC’s strategic adviser on national data sets, gave the final presentation of workshop on the ‘National data strategy’. Elias spoke of a strategic approach to data development and data sharing in the social sciences, and described how the UK National Strategy for Data Resources for the Social Sciences is a plan to develop and maintain a robust data infrastructure. For more information, please see his presentation below, and the strategy document itself, together with the latest draft of an audit of administrative data sources that he has recently competed with Peter Jones.

Peter Elias’ Presentation (ppt)

National Data Strategy (pdf)

Audit of administrative data (pdf)

1 December, 2006

All Presentations to date

Norman, P. (2006) The micro-geography of UK demographic change 1991-2001 Phase 2: Changing area deprivation, Presentation at the UPTAP Seminar, LGA, London, 28 November.

Smith, S. (2006) Understanding the effect of public policy on fertility, Presentation at the UPTAP Seminar, LGA, London, 28 November.

Hawkes, D. (2006) Comparing early maternal employment in the UK and US: evidence from the first sweeps of the UK Millennium Cohort Study and the US Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Presentation at the UPTAP Seminar, LGA, London, 28 November.

Ballas, D (2006) Exploring geographies of happiness in Britain and the implications for public policy, Presentation at the UPTAP Seminar, LGA, London, 28 November.

Li, Y. (2006) Labour market trajectories of minority ethnic groups in Britain: 1972-2005, Presentation at the UPTAP Seminar, LGA, London, 28 November.

Simpson, R. (2006) Changes over time in later childbearing and childlessness in Britain: the 1958 and 1970 cohorts compared, Presentation at the British Society of Population Studies Conference, Southampton, 18-21 September.

Norman, P. and Simpson, L. (2006) Sub-district population projections by ethnic group: problems and solutions, Presentation at the BSPS Conference, September.

Brewer, M. (2006) Understanding the effects of public policy on fertility, Presentation at the British Society for Population Studies Conference, University of Southampton, September.

Hansen, K. and Hawkes, D. (2006) The association between childcare and child outcomes, Presentation at the International Conference on Child Cohort Studies, Oxford, September.

Joshi, H. and Ward, K. (2006) Mother’s employment and mental health in the first year of a child’s life: a contrast between two maternity leave regimes, Presentation at the International Conference on Child Cohort Studies, Oxford, September.

Crosby, D. and Hawkes, D. (2006) Comparing early maternal employment in the UK and US: evidence from the first sweeps of the UK Millennium Cohort Study and the US Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Presentation at the International Conference on Child Cohort Studies, Oxford, September.

Guinea-Martin, D.(2006) Segregation change: longitudinal evidence from the ONS Longitudinal Study and the National Child Development Study, Presentation at the Cambridge Social Stratification Research Seminar, Clare College, Cambridge University, September.

Ballas, D. and Dorling, D. (2006) Investigating the geography of happiness and income and wealth inequalities, Presentation at the 46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association, Volos, Greece, 30 August - 3 September.

Norman, P. (2006) The micro-geography of UK demographic change 1991-2001, Presentation at the UPTAP session RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, 30 August – 1 September.

Guinea-Martin, D. (2006) Gender and ethnicity in employment: continuity and change in patterns of occupational segregation and disadvantage between 1991 and 2001, Presentation at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, The Royal Geographical Society, London, 30 August-1 September.

Simpson, R. (2006) Delayed childbearing and childlessness in Britain: the 1958 and 1970 cohorts compared, Presentation at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, 30 August - 1 September.

Coast, E. (2006) Currently cohabiting: relationship attitudes, intentions and behaviour, Presentation at UPTAP session at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, The Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London, 30 August - 1 September.

Young, H. and Grundy, E. (2006) Old, sick and alone? Living arrangements, health and well being amongst older people, Presentation at UPTAP session at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, The Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London, 30 August – 1 September.

Boyle, P., Graham, E., Gayle, V. and Zohoor, A. (2006) Does being a step-parent influence your health? Presentation at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 30 August-1 September.

Karlsen, S. (2006) The influence of citizenship, institutional trust and racism on feeling ‘at home’ among Muslim groups in Europe, Presentation at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2006 The Royal Geographical Society with IBG, London, 30 August-1 September.

Li, Y. (2206) Labour market positions of the BMEs in Britain, 1972-2004, Presentation at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, The Royal Geographical Society, London, 30 August-1 September.

Ballas, D. and Dorling, D. (2006) Social justice and well-being: exploring the relationship between income and wealth inequalities and happiness at different geographical scales, Presentation at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 30 August-1 September.

Kaufmann, E.P. (2006) The end of secularisation in the West, Presentation at the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, August 31.

Ballas, D., Dorling, D. and Shaw, M (2006) Societal inequality, health, and well-being, Presentation at the 36th Regional Science Association International (British and Irish Section) Conference, Jersey, 16-18 August.

Cheng, S-L. (2006) A comparison of time on leisure activities in relation to education between the UK and the Netherlands: evidence from time use surveys, Presentation at the International Conference on Comparative Social Sciences, Sophia University, Tokyo, 15-16 July.

Norman, P. (2006) Vital statistics: an invaluable resource for health, Presentation at the Health Surveys User Meeting, July.

Young, H. and Grundy, E. (2006) Living arrangements, health and wellbeing amongst older people: a European perspective, Presentation at the European Population Conference, Liverpool, 21-24 June.

Kaufmann, E.P. (2006) The end of secularisation in the West, Presentation at the European Population Conference, Liverpool, 21-24 June.

Ballas, D. (2006) Building a simulation model of happiness and well-being in Britain, Presentation at the 3rd International Population Geographies conference, University of Liverpool, 19-21 June.

Simpson, L. and Norman, P. (2006) How small a population can be usefully projected? Presentation at the EAPS Conference, Liverpool, June.

Joshi, H. and Verropoulou, G. (2006) Does mothers’ employment conflict with child development? Multilevel analysis of British mothers born in 1958, Presentation at the European Population Conference, Liverpool, June.

Hansen, K., Hawkes, D. and Joshi, H. (2006) Grandparent involvement in child care, Presentation ato the European Population Conference, Liverpool, June.

Norman, P., Boyle, P. and Brown, M. (2006) Which influences the self-reporting of health, country of birth or country of residence? (British analysis using individual-level data), Presentation at the International Population Geography Conference, Liverpool, June.

Kaufmann, E.P. (2006) Libertarian hawks or cultural communitarians? Neoconservatism and the legacy of the New York intellectuals, Presentation at the Birkbeck College, 24-25 May.

Cheng, S-L. (2006) The impact of educational qualifications on trends in leisure activities, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Karlsen, S., and Nazroo, J. (2006) Being a Muslim in Europe: attitudes and experiences, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Li, Y. (2206) Socio-economic position and political support of the BMEs in Britain, 1971-2004, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Guinea-Martin, D.(2006) Trends in gender and ethnic occupational segregation in England and Wales: longitudinal evidence, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Kaufmann, E.P. (2006) A dying creed? The demographic contradictions of liberal capitalism, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Surridge, P. (2006) The making of social values: social attitudes and social change, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Sturgis, P., Allum, N, and Patulny, R (2006) Social and political trust: a longitudinal and comparative perspective, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Duke-Williams, O. (2006) Links between internal migration, commuting and inter-household relationships, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 31 March.

Thomas, C. (2006) How does employment affect cardiovascular risk? A life-course approach in the 1958 cohort, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Young, H. and Grundy, E. (2006) Living arrangements, health and well-being: a European perspective, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Norman, P. (2006) The micro-geography of UK demographic change 1991-2001, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Vickers, D. (2006) The Changing Residential Patterns of the UK, 1991-2001, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Smith,S., Brewer, M., Ratcliffe, A. (2006) Understanding the effect of public policy on fertility; secondary data analysis (SRG), Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Hansen, K., Hawkes, D. and Joshi, H. (2006) Motherhood and Child Outcomes: the Consequences of the Timing of Motherhood and Mothers’ Employment on Child Outcomes (LRG), Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Simpson, R. (2006), Delayed childbearing and childlessness in Britain: the 1958 and 1970 cohorts compared, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Smith, A. (2006) Intergenerational Contributions to Childcare Across Europe, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Ballas, D. (2006) Exploring geographies of happiness and well-being in Britain, Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March.

Boyle, P., Graham, E., Gayle, V. and Zohoor, A. (2006) Does stepparenting influence mental health? Presentation at UPTAP Inaugural Conference, Leeds, 30 March

30 November, 2006

Building Capacity Through Secondary Data Analysis: Report on the UPTAP Seminar held at the LGA, 28 November 2006

Around 40 policy-makers and researchers attended the UPTAP seminar at the LGA that aimed to inform those outside the academic community of the UPTAP initiative and to disseminate information about some of the research projects being undertaken.

John Stillwell, the Coordinator of UPTAP, welcomed delegates and began the seminar with a short introduction, outlining the aims and objectives of the UPTAP initiative and providing an overview of the programme’s major themes and activities.

John Stillwell’s Presentation (ppt)

The seminar was divided into three parts focusing respectively on: ‘Policy Impacts on Fertility and Maternal Employment’; the ‘Relevance of UPTAP’; and ‘Policy Implications of Changing Deprivation, Well-being and Ethnic Participation’.

In the first session, Sarah Smith (University of Bristol) presented a paper on ‘Understanding the effect of public policy on fertility’, which demonstrated trends in fertility over time for nearly 30 birth cohorts of women from the Family Expenditure Survey (1968-2003) and the Family Resources Survey (1990-2004). She presented evidence of increasing childlessness, falling completed family size and a declining proportion of women giving birth before age 30. She also showed some initial analysis of the effects of the Working Families Tax Credit on fertility.

Sarah Smith’s Presentation (ppt)

Denise Hawkes (Institute of Education) provided an international comparative perspective in her presentation on Comparing early maternal employment in the UK and US: evidence from the first sweeps of the UK Millennium Cohort Study and the US Early Childhood Longitudinal Study’. Denise reviewed the two data sources and the policy contexts in each country before examining the relationships between mothers’ return to work decisions during their child’s first year of life and key variables related to the characteristics of the child, mother, family, region and partner. She also explored the impact of return to work on child cognitive outcomes, indicating a greater likelihood of children sleeping through the night, sitting up and passing things from hand to hand when mothers return to work in the first 9 months of their child’s life.

Denise Hawkes’s Presentation (ppt)

In the second part of the seminar, Ian Diamond (Chief Executive of the ESRC) began with some words of encouragement to all those involved with UPTAP, stating that he was “ pleased to see the fruits moving forward”. Arguing that all major challenges are social science in nature, he stressed the importance of, and his sentimental attachment to, the initiative. He went on to state that all research funded by the ESRC is “world-class” and that UPTAP is no exception. Through formulating the ESRC’s strategic framework that is comprised of i) research; ii) capacity, and iii) engagement, the need for initiatives such as UPTAP became apparent. He emphasised how data rich the UK is yet how relatively under-utilised quantitative data sets are, highlighting “the need to build capacity in secondary data analysis”. Despite there being huge potential for additional datasets, Ian stressed that these data sets are only of use if we have a cadre of people to analyse them properly. Consequently, there is a constant need to develop capacity in skills and methods, and UPTAP is playing an integral part in this process. In terms of engagement, Ian stressed that collaboration was pivotal to success, particularly in promoting schemes that allow the exchange of researchers between government and academic communities. In summary, he referred to UPTAP as being central to not only every aspect of the ESRC agenda, but also of the national agenda. In his words, “every project has the potential to have an impact; the challenge is to get the message out in a user-friendly way”.

John Pullinger (Librarian for the House of Commons and Chair of the UPTAP Advisory Committee) spoke about the growth in the desire for ‘evidence-based policy’. He stated that the ESRC quantitative data is unrivalled from that in any other country, and that demand and supply sides for public research are both strong. However, he attributed the lack of improvement in policy making to two interlinked reasons: trust and capability. UPTAP can alleviate problems with the latter as researchers involved i) understand the data sets well enough to ask sensible questions, and ii) know when they get sensible answers from their analysis of the data sets. John stated that “the brilliant thing about this Programme (UPTAP) is that it fills the gap to allow demand and supply to be put together”. Describing UPTAP as unique due to the fact that it connects people together, and in so doing aids understanding in the key issues they face, he went on to say this in turn will condition how policies are made. In summary, he quoted a possible forthcoming catch phrase: that UPTAP is “connecting people to increase understanding”!

In Session 3 after lunch, Paul Norman (University of Leeds) gave a presentation on ‘The micro-geography of UK demographic change 1991-2001 Phase 2: Changing area deprivation’. Paul explained of how he has calculated ward level deprivation index scores for the UK using time and space harmonised input variables that allow comparison between 1991 and 2001. He reviewed the difficulties associated with data availability and classification as well as changing geographical boundaries. He presented some results of areas where deprivation has changed and outlined his aim of attempting to determine whether areas experiencing large changes are the result of regeneration policy, or whether places becoming more deprived have experienced increased unemployment as a result of closure of industry.

Paul Norman’s Presentation (ppt)

Dimtiris Ballas (University of Sheffield) expanded on the history, definition and potential use of his recently proclaimed ‘trendy’ topic: happiness. Through ‘Exploring geographies of happiness in Britain and the implications for public policy’, Dimitiris demonstrated how important public policy-relevant questions about people’s sense of well-being can be addressed on the basis of analysis of secondary socio-economic data, such as the British Household Panel Survey and the censuses of population. He used cartograms to illustrate spatial variations in income and poverty as proxies for happiness and unhappiness and argued that geographical simulation models provide important tools for assessing the impacts of public policies on well-being.

Dimitris Ballas’s Presentation (ppt)

The final presentation of the seminar was given by Yaojun Li (Birmingham University), who elaborated on his work with Anthony Heath on ‘Labour market trajectories of minority ethnic groups in Britain: 1972-2005’. Up until now, no research has been able to trace the trajectories of the minority ethnic groups in the last three decades. This research fills this void by using data from the General Household Survey and the Labour Force Survey over the last 34 years (1972-2005) and tracing the time series probabilities of men and women from different ethnic groups being unemployed, economically inactive, employed, in the service class, in the semi/unskilled working class or being self-employed.
Yaojun Li’s Presentation (ppt)

10 October, 2006

UPTAP Progress & plans report

On 5 October 2006, John Stillwell (UPTAP Coordinator) made a presentation about UPTAP progress and plans to the ESRC Research Resources Board Programme Directors Meeting at the MRC in London.

UPTAP presentation 5th October 2006 (.ppt)

4 September, 2006

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2006

Yaojun Li presented a paper at the RGS-IBG Conference on the 30th August 2006, which subsequently received coverage from several newspapers.

Please see the following weblinks

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/08/31/nsurnames131.xml

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