The economic and socio-demographic developments occurring throughout Europe pose new social risks where inequality threatens population sub-groups. To obtain a better understanding of the multi-dimensional causes of social vulnerability in the Baltic Sea States, the project will conduct research on population developments in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Russian Federation and Sweden. Iceland and Norway are also considered because they form part of the Northern European hemisphere and have adapted the Scandinavian welfare model.
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy contribute to this interdisciplinary research project. Our institute will investigate three main domains: working life and retirement, migration and health. These topics will be addressed from theoretical and empirical perspectives, through the improvement of existing methodologies, the use of combined sources and new data collection. To do so, it uses three main data sources: SHARE and SPLASH, plus one migration survey.
Stemming from MEA’s focus on the economics of aging, as well as demographic change and the resulting social transformation processes, the department addresses social vulnerability in new and emerging contexts covering factors and populations often unexplored such as aging migrants. The expertise of the Department of Foreign and International Social Law in the investigation of social law as an instrument for the implementation of social policy measures will provide key insights of the institutional settings within the Baltic Sea region, necessary for the study of vulnerable groups.
The core line of research that will gain from this scientific exchange between departments is working life and retirement: The Baltic Sea States Project will identify developments in the current workforce environment and their impact on social welfare. Important topics in this research endeavor are current policy interventions aimed at extending working lives, the older populations’ health and financial situation.
The new social risks faced by today’s most vulnerable populations are closely linked to their access to social rights. This holds particularly for migrants. As such, the Department of Foreign and International Social Law continues to investigate the right of residence and related social rights of migrants, particularly refugees, in the Baltic Sea States. In this context, notably the right to access the labor market as well as labor market performance is important. MEA will continue with research on working life in the context of migration, covering two dimensions: the well-being of older migrants, based on SHARE data, and potentials and expectations of Syrian refugees and Afghan asylum seekers in Bavaria.
The most relevant results of these and future studies supported by the Baltic Sea States Project will be made available on the Social Policy and Law Shared Database – SPLASH.