News & Outputs

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)