Conference reflections 2013

Director Nick Buck rounds-up Research Conference 2013 - and reveals future plans for Understanding Society.

Aspirations and preferences

What makes boys have lower aspirations than girls? What financial rewards do young people expect from a degree? Researcher Angus Holford reflects on our conference session on Aspirations and Preferences

Survey response and non-response

Understanding Society Survey Manager Jon Burton blogs on a series of presentations at this year's conference on attrition.

Two generations of worklessness

Social policy website Society Central reports on research presented at today's conference showing young people whose fathers were unemployed when they were growing up are more likely to be out of work themselves and happier

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Understanding Society: a biosocial survey

Professor Amanda Sacker from the International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society and Health (ICLS) talks about why Understanding Society is a fantastic resource for health research.

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Taking the long view on moving house

Professor Maarten Van Ham discusses his Understanding Society Research Conference 2013 keynote address on visualising data around residential mobility.

Print programme Print abstracts

Programme & presentations

Thank you to all those presenters that have given us permission to reproduce their slides. These are linked against the relevant presentations below.

We will update this page as new material becomes available. If you'd like us to upload your presentation, please let Rosie O'Neill know.

Wednesday 24 July Thursday | Friday

RegistrationLTB Foyer

WelcomeLTB 7

Heather Laurie, Director ISER, University of Essex, UK

Keynote Address - Maarten van Ham LTB 7

Research Institute for the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Analysing individual residential mobility and neighbourhood biographies

Chair: Heather Laurie

Parallel Sessions A

Residential MobilityLTB 8

Linking life events and stated reasons for moving over the life course
Rory Coulter, Jacqueline Scott
Presenter: Rory Coulter
, University of Cambridge
Residential mobility decisions amongst the white UK-born population and ethnic diversity
Gareth Harris, Eric Kaufmann
Presenter: Gareth Harris
, Department of Politics, Birkbeck
The process of socio-economic constraint on geographical mobility: England 1991 to 2008.
Brian Kelly
Presenter: Brian Kelly
, University of Manchester
Chair: Gundi Knies

Environment and Well-beingLTB 5

The Amenity Value of the British Climate
Helena Meier, Katrin Rehdanz
Presenter: Helena Meier
, Institute of Energy Economics, University of Cologne, Germany
Does Sunshine make you Happy? Subjective Measures of Well-Being and the Weather: Evidence from the UK Panel Data
Franz Buscha
Presenter: Franz Buscha
, University of Westminster
Green, Healthy and Happy
Gopalakrishnan Netuveli, Mala Rao
Presenter: Gopalakrishnan Netuveli
, Institute of Health and Human Development, University of East London
Chair: Stephanie McFall

Labour MarketLTB 3

The impact of local labour market conditions on school leaving decisions
Alberto Tumino
Presenter: Alberto Tumino
, University of Essex
Identification of the Union Wage Impact using Panel Data: The British Case During 1995-2009
Georgios Marios Chrysanthou
Presenter: Georgios Marios Chrysanthou
, University of Alicante
Download Presentation
Chair: Birgitta Rabe

RefreshmentsLTB Foyer

Parallel Sessions B

MarriageLTB 8

Psychological distress of union dissolution: What does the average effect hide?
Lara Patrício Tavares, Arnstein Aassve
Presenter: Lara Patrício Tavares
, Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa; “Carlo F. Dondena” Research Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (Bocconi University)
Living alone and psychological well-being in late mid-life: does partnership history matter?
Dieter Demey, Ann Berrington, Maria Evandrou, Jane Falkingham
Presenter: Dieter Demey
, ESRC Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton
Cohabitation or Marriage? The socioeconomic and family characteristics of first union formation among men and women in Britain.
Kenisha Russell-Jonsson
Presenter: Kenisha Russell-Jonsson
, Institute for Futures Studies
Chair: Maria Iacovou

Working TimeLTB 5

Working too much?
Sarah Jewell, Marina Della Giusta
Presenter: Sarah Jewell
, University of Reading
How does working time affect subjective well-being?: British evidence
Andy Charlwood, David Angrave
Presenter: Andy Charlwood
, The York Management School - The University of York
Chair: Alberto Tumino

HealthLTB 3

Residential mobility and socio-spatial inequalities in health between neighbourhoods: Why do people in BHPS move to unhealthy areas?
Helena Tunstall, Jamie Pearce, Liz Richardson, Rich Mitchell & Niamh Shortt
Presenter: Helena Tunstall
, Univerisity of Edinburgh
Does early-life income inequality predict later-life self-reported health? Evidence from three countries
Roger Wilkins, Dean Lillard, Richard Burkhauser, Markus H. Hahn
Presenter: Roger Wilkins
, University of Melbourne
Download Presentation
Places and preferences: A Longitudinal Analysis of Self-Selection and Contextual Effects
Aina Gallego, Franz Buscha, Patrick Sturgis, Daniel Oberski
Presenter: Patrick Sturgis
, University of Southampton
Chair: Cara Booker

Discussion on Plans for new Immigrant and Ethnic Minority Boost Samples in Understanding SocietyLTB 7

Discussion led by Lucinda Platt and Nick Buck

Consultation outline paper for discussionLTB 7

Plans for Immigrant and Ethnic Minority Boost Sample
Presenter: Lucinda Platt
, Institute of Education (IOE)
Chair: Nick Buck

Drinks ReceptionLTB Foyer

Thursday 25 July Wednesday | Friday

Late Registration and RefreshmentsLTB Foyer

Parallel Sessions C

Survey AttritionLTB 8

Handling Attrition and Non-Response in the 1970 British Cohort Study.
Tarek Mostafa, Richard D. Wiggins
Presenter: Tarek Mostafa
, Institute of Education - University of London - Department of Quantitative Social Science - Centre for Longitudinal Studies.
Download Presentation
Understanding survey attrition among immigrants in wave 2 of Understanding Society
Dorothee Schneider
Presenter: Dorothee Schneider
, Institute for Social and Economic Research
Latent Class models to describe the profiles of different groups of drop-outs in the British Household Panel Survey
Peter Lugtig
Presenter: Peter Lugtig
, University of Essex/ Utrecht University
Chair: Raj Patel

Health, and Health ServicesLTB 3

Use of Different Preventative Health Check-Ups in UK: A Comparison with Dynamic Panel Data Models Using the BHPS 1992-2008
Alexander Labeit
Presenter: Alexander Labeit
, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, UK
Download Presentation
Measuring unmet preventive medication needs and socio-demographic characteristics of respondents at high risk of primary cardiovascular events in the UK household population 2010-2012
Jakob Petersen
Presenter: Jakob Petersen
Download Presentation
Determinants of private health care use in the UK - Did a decade of NHS budget expansion change the demand for private inpatient care?
Marian Schmidt
Presenter: Marian Schmidt
, LMU, University of Munich; Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health
Download Presentation
Chair: Michaela Benzeval

Aspiration / PreferencesLTB 5

Gender differences in educational aspirations and attitudes
Tina Rampino, Mark Taylor
Presenter: Tina Rampino
Subjective Expectations about the Returns to Schooling and the Decision to Go to University
Adeline Delavande, Basit Zafar
Presenter: Adeline Delavande
, University of Essex
Parental Investment and the Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Preferences and Attitudes
Maria Zumbuehl, Thomas Dohmen, Gerard Pfann
Presenter: Maria Zumbuehl
, ROA / Maastricht University
Chair: Malcolm Brynin

Morning RefreshmentsLTB Foyer

Keynote Address - Ann BerringtonLTB 7

University of Southampton

Changing dynamics of young adults’ household transitions: what can we learn from BHPS and Understanding Society?

Chair: Nick Buck

LunchLTB Foyer

Parallel Sessions D

Research from the Understanding Society’s Innovation PanelLTB 8

How to encourage a face-to-face household panel to go online? Timing isn't everything but money talks!
Carl Cullinane, Gerry Nicolaas
Presenter: Carl Cullinane
, NatCen Social Research
Download Presentation
Do branched rating scales have better test-retest reliability than unbranched scales? Experimental evidence from a three-wave panel survey
Emily Gilbert
Presenter: Emily Gilbert
, ISER, University of Essex
Question ordering effects on the reporting of fertility intentions and close social networks.
Paul Mathews
Presenter: Paul Mathews
, University of Essex
Download Presentation
Enhancing the current knowledge on linking survey data to administrative records. Evidence from the Innovation Panel of the UK Household Longitudinal Study
Emanuela Sala, Jonathan Burton, Gundi Knies
Presenter: Emanuela Sala
, Dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Universita degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (Italy)
Download Presentation
Chair: Peter Lynn

Investment in ChildrenLTB 5

Do the children of employed mothers eat fewer ‘family meals’?
Antonia Simon, Charlie Owen
Presenter: Charlie Owen
, Institute of Education, University of London
The socio-economic gradient in children’s reading skills and the role of genetics
John Jerrim, Anna Vignoles; Raghu Lingham; Angela Friend
Presenter: Anna Vignoles and John Jerrim
, Institute of Education
Information disclosure and educational expectations. A regression discontinuity approach
Laura Fumagalli
Presenter: Laura Fumagalli
, University of Essex - ISER
Marriage, cohabitation and child outcomes
Ellen Greaves, Alissa Goodman, Claire Crawford, Rob Joyce
Presenter: Ellen Greaves
, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Download Presentation
Chair: Birgitta Rabe

Environment and CommutingLTB 3

Sustainable Partnerships An Empirical Study into Matched Sustainable Behaviour Within Married and Cohabiting Opposite Sex Couples Living in the UK
Hazel Pettifor
Presenter: Hazel Pettifor
, University of Essex
Is active commuting good for our health?
Ellen Flint, Steven Cummins, Amanda Sacker
Presenter: Ellen Flint
, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Associations between active travel to work and overweight, hypertension and diabetes in the United Kingdom
Anthony Laverty, Elizabeth Webb; Jenny Mindell; Christopher Millett
Presenter: Anthony Laverty
, Imperial College London
Exploration of High-emitting Households in the UK
Xinfang Wang
Presenter: Xinfang Wang
, University of Manchester
Chair: Simonetta Longhi

Afternoon RefreshmentsLTB Foyer

Parallel Sessions E

Survey Response and Non-responseLTB 7

Chasing hard to get cases in panel surveys – is it worth it?
Mark Wooden, Nicole Watson
Presenter: Mark Wooden
, University of Melbourne
Download Presentation
'Keeping in touch' on the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS)
Oliver Tatum and Angie Osborn
Presenter: Oliver Tatum and Angie Osborn
, Office for National Statistics
Download Presentation
Targeting households to issue to web to maximise web full household response
Richard Boreham
Presenter: Richard Boreham
, NatCen Social Research
Chair: Jon Burton

Wealth InequalitiesLTB 8

International differences in wealth inequality: The role of economic, demographic and institutional factors
Abigail McKnight, Eleni Karagiannaki and Frank Cowell
Presenter: Abigail McKnight
, CASE, London School of Economics
The Living Wage: An economic understanding and a policy for equality.
Carlo J Morelli, P.T Seaman
Presenter: Carlo J Morelli
, University of Dundee
Poverty in Perspective
Matt Barnes, Andy Ross, Gareth Morrell, Claudia Wood, Jo Salter
Presenter: Matt Barnes
, NatCen Social Research
Download Presentation
Chair: Xavier Jara

Conference dinner, Wivenhoe house hotel

For more information visit the Wivenhoe house hotel website

Friday 26 July Wednesday | Thursday

RefreshmentsLTB Foyer

Parallel Sessions F

Ethnic MinoritiesLTB 8

The association between unemployment and psychological well being among ethnic minority groups in the UK today
Natasha M Crawford
Presenter: Natasha M Crawford
, Institute for Social and Economic Research - University of Essex
Ethnicity and bullying involvement in a national UK youth sample
Neil Tippett, Dieter Wolke, Lucinda Platt
Presenter: Neil Tippett
, University of Warwick
Life satisfaction, ethnicity and neighbourhoods: Is there an effect of neighbourhood ethnic composition on life satisfaction?
Lucinda Platt, Alita Nandi, Gundi Knies
Presenter: Gundi Knies
Chair: Alita Nandi

Measurement and AnalysisLTB 3

Why are households that report the lowest incomes so well-off?
Mike Brewer, Ben Etheridge, Cormac O'Dea
Presenter: Ben Etheridge
, University of Essex
Measuring employment in panel surveys: A comparison of reliability estimates in HILDA and BHPS
SC Noah Uhrig, Nicole Watson
Presenter: SC Noah Uhrig
, Institute for Social and Economic Research
Chair: Olena Kaminska

RefreshmentsLTB Foyer

Parallel Sessions G

Risky BehavioursLTB 8

Understanding alcohol consumption in a family context
Cara L. Booker
Presenter: Cara L. Booker
, University of Essex
Social class and period influences on smoking transitions in early adolescence
Michael J Green, Alastair H Leyland, Helen Sweeting & Michaela Benzeval
Presenter: Michael J Green
, MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit
The effect of smoking bans on self-reported health: comparative evidence from Germany and the UK
Daniel Kuehnle, MSc BA, Christoph Wunder
Presenter: Christoph Wunder
, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Chair: Laura Fumagalli

UnemploymentLTB 5

The short-term consequences of unemployment: an investigation for Germany
Sebastian Beil
Presenter: Sebastian Beil
, Ruhr-University Bochum
Download Presentation
Households’ responses to spousal job loss: ‘all change’ or ‘carry on as usual’?
Karon Gush, James Scott, Heather Laurie
Presenter: Karon Gush
, University of Essex
Download Presentation
Adverse effects of parental unemployment on young adults’ labour market experience
Wouter Zwysen
Presenter: Wouter Zwysen
, ISER, university of Essex
Chair: Raj Patel

Social Connections and Cultural GroupsLTB 3

Patterns of connectedness and resilience to hard times
Lindsay Richards
Presenter: Lindsay Richards
, The University of Manchester
Exploring the influence of others: modelling social connections in contemporary Britain
Vernon Gayle, Paul Lambert, David Griffiths, Mark Tranmer
Presenter: Vernon Gayle
, University of Edinburgh
Download Presentation
Chair: Stephanie McFall

Post-conference training event: An Introduction to Understanding SocietyLTB 7

Gundi Knies and Alita Nandi

Researchers interested in learning how to access and analyse Understanding Society data can register to attend a half-day training course on Friday July 26 at the University of Essex – More information


We offer student housing accommodation on campus at the special rate of £40 per night. To make use of our special conference rate please quote the following promotional code USCONF2013.

Newly renovated Wivenhoe house hotel bed and breakfast is £79 per night. To receive this rate telephone +44 (0)1206 863666 and quote the promotional code USCONF2013.

If you prefer accommodation in Colchester town you have many alternatives. Below are three hotels which are situated in or near to the town centre.

Travel and Accommodation Bursary

Reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses will be made up to a maximum that depends on the institutional location of the presenter:

  • UK (non-Essex) £75
  • Europe £150
  • Other £200

A travel bursary is available to one presenter per paper.

These sums are payable after the conference. Claim forms will be available during the conference for you to complete. You must submit your original tickets and receipts. The reimbursement will be made in a cheque denominated in pounds sterling.


How do I get to the conference?

View location on Google Maps

Campus Map and driving instructions (pdf)

Please print the parking permit and display in your car.

Sat nav: boundary road, colchester

I'm a presenter. What do I need to know?

  • Each paper has a 30 minute slot.
    You should prepare a presentation lasting no more than 20 minutes to leave sufficient time for discussion.
  • PowerPoint: VGA connection is available in all presentation rooms.
    Please bring your presentation on a memory stick and upload it to the computer in your presentation room 15 minutes before the session begins. Please also liaise with your session chair prior to your presentation.

Will the presentations be made available after the conference?

Yes. Keep an eye on the 'Programme’ area of this site or follow us on Twitter #usociety13 to find out when the information is available.

Staying in touch

If you have any questions about this conference, please contact the events team at

Find us on Twitter @usociety

For more information about Understanding Society, please visit our website to access the latest news, research findings and podcasts.

Press and media enquiries

Please contact Janine Ford by email on or by phone on 01206 873 864