Demographic Aspects of Human Wellbeing

Wittgenstein Centre Conference 2019

Call for contributions to the Vienna Yearbook of Population Research open now!

Vienna, November 11 - 12, 2019

Campus WU, Vienna University of Economics and Business,
Building LC, Ceremonial Hall 1,
Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna

The scientific literature addressing human wellbeing is rapidly expanding in economics, psychology, sociology, and the health sciences, and is also becoming increasingly important in interdisciplinary studies of sustainable development. A large number of wellbeing indicators have been proposed in order to quantitatively capture and monitor progress towards better human wellbeing and study its determinants. Many of these indicators have demographic components such as life expectancy or studies explicitly address age- and gender-specific differentials in economic standing, life satisfaction, health/disability or consider other demographic differentials.
Researchers at the Wittgenstein Centre are involved in several studies around economic and health aspects of human wellbeing (e.g. the AWA project) and an ERC Advanced Grant on “The demography of sustainable human wellbeing”. In this context and with partial funding from this grant the conference wanted to bring together researchers from around the world working on different aspects of human wellbeing with a specifically demographic perspective. The aim was to put demography more prominently on the table as a discipline that has much to contribute to the scientific study of human wellbeing, both in terms of its measurement and the analysis of its determinants.



Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

Wolfgang Lutz

Sonja Spitzer

Raya Muttarak

video presentation


Keynote 1:

Richard E. Lucas |


Session 1: Wellbeing indicators

Chair: Hans-Peter Blossfeld 

David E. Bloom, Victoria Y. Fan, Vadim Kufenko, Osondu Ogbuoji, Klaus Prettner & Gavin Yamey

  • Inequality-adjusted healthy lifetime income: going beyond GDP with a parsimonious wellbeing indicator
    pdf | video presentation

Carmen Herrero, Ricardo Martínez & Antonio Villar

Wolfgang Lutz, Erich Striessnig, Anna Dimitrova, Anastasia Lijadi, Claudia Reiter, Sonja Spitzer & Dilek Yildiz

video of the discussion after the presentations of session 1


Session 2: Measurement of wellbeing dimensions

Chair: Richard E. Lucas

Anastasia Aldelina Lijadi

  • Indicators for subjective well-being: fundamental differences between happiness and life satisfaction from a global perspective


Anna Dimitrova, Erich Striessnig & Dilek Yildiz

  • Poverty perspectives and measurement approaches


Patrick Lazarevič, Martina Brandt & Marc Luy

  • A new approach for quickly measuring generic health

Bernard Harris

video of the discussion after the presentations of session 2



Demographic differentials in life satisfaction and wellbeing

(1) Radoslaw Antczak
Inequalities in subjective wellbeing using life satisfaction and evaluated time index

(2) Hilal Arslan, Alanur Çavlin & Dilek Yildiz
Wellbeing inequality among different demographic groups in Turkey

(3) Cynthia Luz Cisneros Franco
The Mexican recipe for life satisfaction: gender differences in the role of age and education

(4) Izabela Grabowska
Multidimensional quality of life of persons with and without disabilities in Poland – a comparative approach

(5) Guogui Huang & Fei Guo
The role and wellbeing of female family care givers in the provision of aged care in China

(6) Judit Kalman
Gender differences in effects of labor market status on subjective wellbeing across European welfare regimes

(7) Natalija Miric
Satisfied life years in ex-Yugoslav republics

(8) Natalie Nitsche & Mikko Myrskylä
Changes in self-rated health around the time of childbirth among couples in Europe

(9) Kazuma Sato
Unhappy obesity and happy obesity: a comparative study of the United States and China

(10) Maia Sieverding
Determinants of subjective wellbeing over the life course in Egypt

(11)Dilek Yildiz, Hilal Arslan & Alanur Çavlin
Understanding women’s wellbeing in Turkey: trends and determinants of women’s satisfaction with life


Migration and wellbeing


(12) Elena Ambrosetti, Giulia Bettin, Eralba Cela & Angela Paparusso
Satisfaction, wellbeing and educational attainment: how do children of immigrants perform compared to natives?

(13) Bruno Arpino, Valeria Bordone & Helga de Valk
Contacts with children and subjective wellbeing: do the relationships differ for older migrants and natives in Europe?

(14) Hans Dietrich & Elena Ambrosetti
The wellbeing of forced immigrants in Germany

(15) Daniela Georges, Isabella Buber-Ennser, Gabriele Doblhammer, Bernhard Rengs & Judith Kohlenberger
A comparison of refugees’ health determinants in Germany and Austria

(16) Judith Kohlenberger, Sebastian Leitner, Isabella Buber-Ennser & Bernhard Rengs
Mental wellbeing of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Austria: evidence on the prevalence of anxiety disorder and depression


Health and wellbeing over the life course


(17) Anita Abramowska-Kmon & Milena Milan
Is providing support to older parents detrimental to adult children’s quality of life? Evidence from selected European countries

(18) Heather Booth, Steffen Peters & Mahin Raissi
Socio-demographic homophily in friendship networks and self-rated health in later life

(19) Sirinya Kaikeaw, J. Rittirong & Sureeporn Punpuing
Health expectancy among older people in Thailand

(20) Markus Klingel
The importance of dyadic functionality and social resources on ageing well

(21) Cosmo Strozza, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Viviana Egidi, Claudia Loreti, Federica Vannetti, Claudio Macchi & Luca Padua
Health profiles among nonagenarians from Mugello district (Tuscany, Italy) and their socio- economic characteristics

(22) Joshua Wilde, Benedicte Apouey & Joseph Coleman
The effect of antimalarial campaigns on child mortality and fertility in sub-Saharan Africa


Keynote 2:

Carol Jagger

  • EU and UK targets for healthy life expectancy - can they be reached?


Session 3: Inequalities in health and wellbeing

Chair: Vanessa Di Lego

Stefano Mazzuco, Iryna Kyzyma, Maria Noel Pi Alperin, Lucia Zanotto & Marc Suhrcke

  • Assessing trends in SE inequalities in mortality: - Pitfalls and promises of European longitudinal surveys
    pdf | video presentation

Alexi Gugushvili & Caspar Kaiser

Bernhard Binder-Hammer, Sonja Spitz, Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz

Michael Kuhn & Miguel Sánchez-Romero

video of the discussion after the presentations of session 3


Session 4: Health and wellbeing at old age

Chair: Carol Jagger


Mateo P. Farina, Mark D. Hayward, Eileen M. Crimmins & Yuan S. Zhang

  • Education, childhood conditions and dementia life expectancy in the older U.S. population
    pdf | video presentation

Guogui Huang, Fei Guo & Gong Chen

Valeria Bordone, Bruno Arpino & Giorgio Di Gessa

  • The effect of grandparenthood on older people’s cognitive functioning: does it matter what grandparents and grandchildren do together?
    pdf | video presentation

Sonja Spitzer, Daniela Weber & Mujaheed Shaikh

Guillaume Marois & Arda Aktas

video of the discussion after the presentations of session 4


Keynote 3:

Paul Frijters

  1. The Easterlin Discount
    pdf | video presentation | video discussion


Session 5: Economic wellbeing and retirement

Chair: Alfonso Sousa-Poza

Julian Schmied

  • Retirement preparedness in the United States: quantifying saving adequacy standards based on subjective economic wellbeing
    pdf |

Mikkel Barslund, Malte Jacob Rattenborg

  • Effect of early retirement on subjective wellbeing and health: evidence from a German early retirement reform
    pdf | video presentation

Tobias Vogt, Fanny Kluge, Ronald D. Lee

  • Intergenerational resource sharing and mortality in a global perspective

John R. Weeks


Session 6: Wellbeing over the life course

Chair: Paul Frijters

David G. Blanchflower, Andrew E. Clark

  • Children, unhappiness and family finances: evidence from one million Europeans

Angela Greulich, Hippolyte d'Albis, Andrew Clark

David Bartram



video of the discussion after the presentations of session 6



Wellbeing and the family

(23) Radoslaw Antczak, Bruno Arpino, Nekehia T. Quashie & Christine A. Mair
Number of children and later life health in 20 countries

(24) Thananon Buathong, Raya Muttarak, Roman Hoffmann & Montakarn Chimmamee
Fertility patterns and subjective wellbeing among low-income households: evidence from Thailand

(25) Andrew E. Clark, Conchita D’Ambrosio & Nicholas Rohde
Prenatal economic shocks and birth outcomes in UK cohort data

(26) Malgorzata Mikucka
Do parenthood and partnership protect life satisfaction in the old age?

(27) Ognjen Obućina, Sven Drefahl & Siddartha Aradhya
Partner choice and mortality in Sweden

(28) Bernhard Riederer
Singles in the city: happily ever after?

(29) Jiaxin Shi, José Manuel Aburto, Pekka Martikainen & Alyson van Raalte
Beyond differences in means: rising mortality stratification among income groups in Finland, 1996-2014


Education, labour market outcomes and (economic) wellbeing

(30) Felix Bittmann
Education at any cost? About the effects of secondary-track mismatch on pupils‘ wellbeing in Germany

(31) Agnieszka Chłoń-Domińczak, Iga Magda & Paweł Strzelecki
Mothers’ life-course work and career choices and intergenerational ties at older age

(32) Hippolyte d’Albis, Denis Fougère & Pierre Gouëdard
Slow down before you stop: the effect of the 2010 French pension reform on older teachers‘ sick leaves

(33) Gabriela Flores, Clémence Kieny & Jürgen Maurer
Deconstructing gender differences in experienced utility among older adults in the developing world: the roles of time use and activity-specific affective experiences

(34) Ashish Singh & Laeek Siddiqui
Indices for measuring socioeconomic inequality in longevity: theory and an application to India

(35) Jonas Vossemer & Anna Baranowska-Rataj
Unemployment and the wellbeing of families: the mediating role of household income and the quality of relationships


Session 7: Wellbeing and partnership unions

Chair: Caroline Berghammer

Anna Barbuscia, Laura Bernardi, Emmanuelle Cambois, Chiara Comolli & Ariane Pailhé


Session 8: Wellbeing and children

Chair: Éva Beaujouan

Thijs van den Broek & Marco Tosi

  • The more the merrier? The causal effect of high fertility on later- life loneliness in Eastern Europe
    pdf | video presentation

Marco Tosi & Alice Goisis

  •   Mental health around the transition to first birth: Does Medically Assisted Reproduction matter?
    pdf | video presentation

Junji Kageyama, Risa Hagiwara, Kazuma Sato & Eriko Teramura


video of the discussion after the presentations of session 8


Session 9: Wellbeing and time use

Chair: Fanny Kluge

Daniela V. Negraia & Jill E. Yavorsky

  • How do parents feel about time with their children? Does the gender of the child matter?

Marina Zannella & Alessandra De Rose


Session 10: Wellbeing and the environment

Chair: Anna Dimitrova

Roman Hoffmann, Raya Muttarak & Jonas Peisker

Conference Closing & Poster Award Ceremony

For the first time in the history of the annual WIC Conferences (and former VID December Conferences) the two best evaluated posters of every poster session have been awarded:

  • Radoslaw Antczak:
    Inequalities in subjective wellbeing using life satisfaction and evaluated time index pdf
  • Bruno Arpino, Valeria Bordone & Helga de Valk:
    Contacts with children and subjective wellbeing: do the relationships differ for older migrants and natives in Europe? pdf
  • Malgorzata Mikucka:
    Do parenthood and partnership protect life satisfaction in the old age? pdf
  • Jiaxin Shi, José Manuel Aburto, Pekka Martikainen & Alyson van Raalte:
    Beyond differences in means: rising mortality stratification among income groups in Finland, 1996-2014


video of the Closing and Poster Award Ceremony

Conference Organisers

  • Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Wittgenstein Centre
  • Wolfgang Lutz, Wittgenstein Centre
  • Raya Muttarak, Wittgenstein Centre
  • Sonja Spitzer, Wittgenstein Centre


If you have any questions regarding the Conference, please contact

Sonja Spitzer for content related questions: spitzers(at)

Petra Schmutz for organisational matters: conference.vid(at)


The support of the City of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Vienna Convention Bureau and the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) is gratefully acknowledged.

This conference is part of a project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 741105).

After scientific review, selected conference contributions are published in the thematic issue of the Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2021:

Talks & Discussions

Watch all the Talks & Discussions of the Conference on VID's YouTube channel: