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Lara MinkusLara Minkus
Result of a Study Coauthored by the Sociologist Lara Minkus of SOCIUM together with to Colleagues from Florence and Magdeburg.

The study asks if and how the public support of the European Union among Europeans has been changed by the election of Donald Trump. The result: The Europeans have a more positive opinion on the EU - and interestingly enough mostly people who consider themselves on the political right. In order to be able to tackle this attitudinal dynamic the authors of the study used the fact that by chance the US presidential elections took place right in the middle of a polling for the Eurobarometer. Eurobarometer is the instrument with which the European Commission regularly polls the public opinion of the EU citizens. This happened also in November 2016. Approximately half of the interviews were conducted prior to the US elections, the other half afterwards. "Because the election of Trump was such a surprise and the date of the interviews prior or after the elections was randomly assigned to the persons and did not correspond to any political opinions of the people interviewed the situation in 2016 approximated a so called natural experiment" says author Lara Minkus. Together with the sociologist Emanuel Deutschmann (European University Institute, Florence) and Jan Delhey, Professor of Macrosociology at the University of Magdeburg Ms Minkus concluded that and change in support for the EU after the US Election must be a "Trump effect".

More support for the EU on the political right

After the election of Trump the EU gets more support from its citizens. But this increase in support shows an unequal distribution if one correlates it with political orientation. It becomes obvious that this Trump effect is especially measurable on the right side of the political spectrum. The political support for the EU also increase in the center and the left side of the political spectrum. But this increase is still in the margin of statistical error. The question of what motivates especially people on the political right to increase their support is open to speculation. The most plausible answer might be the idea that the US elections arouse the hopes that the EU could finally be transferred into some kind of "Europe of the Nations" which would isolate itself against the outside and follow a more protectionist power perspective, says Lara Minkus. "Whether this 'Trump effect' on the right wing was only a short term issue or leads to long term change will be seen after the elections of the European Parliament in May of next year."

More information:
Minkus, Lara; Deutschmann, Emanuel; Delhey, Jan, 2019: A Trump Effect on the EU’s Popularity? The U.S. Presidential Election as a Natural Experiment, in: Perspectives on Politics, online-first, S. 1 - 18, doi:10.1017/S1537592718003262


Contact:
Lara Minkus
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58536
E-Mail: lminkus@uni-bremen.de

Cover Long-Term Care ReportCover Long-Term Care Report
Authors from the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, University of Bremen, presents BARMER Long-Term Care Report 2018.

This year’s BARMER Long-Term Care Report was presented today at the Conference Centre of the Federal Press Conference Building. Its main focus this year lay on the pressures and health status of principal caregivers; but the Report also examined the effects of the most recent long-term care reforms on the provision of long-term care. The authors, Professor Dr. Heinz Rothgang and Dr. Rolf Müller, also made in-depth evaluations of case numbers, incidences, prevalences and care trajectories. The primary data basis comprised long-term care statistics for 2015, routine data provided by the BARMER and a survey of 1,862 BARMER insurees conducted especially for this Report.

Care Grades instead of Care Levels Led to Increase in the Number of People Receiving Long-Term Care Benefits

The switch from care levels to care grades as of 1 January 2017 brought with it changes in the criteria determining rights of access to insurance benefits. Cognitive disabilities are now defined as a constituent of the eligibility rulesfor  insurance benefits, and respective access barriers have been reduced. The switch from care levels to care grades has also led to a significant increase in favourable assessments. According to projections based on BARMER figures, the number of long-term care dependents increased by 17.9 % between 2015 and 2017. Around 13 percentage points are attributable to the increase in Care Levels 1 and 2.

Broadened Entitlements mean Higher Costs

The increased social long-term care insurance expenditure resulting from the reform amounted to around 7 billion Euros in 2017. On the other hand, additional revenues from the reform amounted to 2.8 billion Euros, leaving a reform-related deficit of 4.2 bn. Thanks to the prior revenue surplus and income growth, however, the actual deficit in 2017 only amounted to 2.4 bn. Euros.

Most Long-Term Care Dependents are Cared for by Relatives

In December 2017, about 2.5 m. people in need of care were cared for by a principal caregiver. Two thirds of these principal caregivers were women, one third were men. Only one third of the principal caregivers taking part in the BARMER survey in 2018 were in gainful employment. A quarter, however, stated that they had reduced their hours or given up gainful employment completely to provide care.

Formal and Informal Support is often Inadequate

As a rule, the principal caregiver has to carry out numerous tasks (e.g. apply medication, give assistance at mealtimes, give mobility support or toilet assistance). Six out of ten principal caregives would like further support in at least one of eleven areas of responsibility. In addition to this general deficit, there are problems when it comes to finding substitutes. Significantly more than half of respondents have no opportunity to find anyone who will stand in for them when they need a break.

Frequently, caregivers do not avail of services offered because they are too expensive or suspected of being poor quality, because there are no services available, or because the organisational effort is too high. It becomes apparent that the needs of caregivers cannot be fulfilled because of the structure of the services offered or because they require too much effort. This is the case for around 378,000 principal caregivers (15.3 %) in daycare, 188,000 (7.6 %) in care services, 437,000 (17.7 %) in short-term care and 379,000 principal caregivers (15.3 %) in low-threshold care and domestic help.

Principal Caregivers are Often Subject to Greater Stress and Fall Ill More Frequently

In terms of coping, 87.5% of principal caregivers claim that they can cope most or all of the time. Nevertheless, a large percentage (38.0 %) do not get enough sleep; 29.9% feel trapped in their role as principal caregiver; one in five (20.4 %) often find carework too strenuous; 22.7% of caregivers find that long-term care has a negative effect on friendships, and one in five (18.8%) has existential anxiety or fear of the future.

Caregiving relatives not only suffer from higher morbidity, they also suffer greater morbidity through their carework. At 48.7% in December 2017, the prevalence of mental illness among principal caregivers is very high. In a comparative population in terms of age structure and gender, only 42.5 % of non-caregivers is similarly diagnosed. Morbidity among principal carers has increased by 9.1 percent points over the last five years and only 5.7 percent points in the comparative group.

Future Scenarios for Principal Caregivers

Projections from the survey of BARMER insurees in 2018 suggest that in total at least 185,000 principal caregivers are on the verge of giving up long-term carework. In addition, over a million principal caregivers only want to continue providing long-term care as long as the situation prevailing at the time of the survey does not change. As, the care situation does tend to deteriorate over time, however, it cannot be assumed that this group of carers will continue to provide long-term care. All in all, then, the situation is quite alarming.

Principal caregivers would like less red tape when submitting applications, would like to be able to always contact the same expert on specific matters, would like to be better informed about long-term care insurance benefits and services and about where help can be sought. It is of prime importance to people in need of care to know where they can get help. Clearly, there is a need for the central actors in long-term care and in politics to redress the situation.

Download (in German):
BARMER Long-Term Care Report 2018
Statement by Professor Rothgang for the Press Conference 
Presentation by Professor Rothgang for the Press Conference


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Dr. rer. pol. Rolf Müller
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58554
E-Mail: rmint@uni-bremen.de

Cover Innovation Report 2018Cover Innovation Report 2018
More green traffic lights than in recent years.

The Innovation Report has been published annually since 2013 by Professor Gerd Glaeske und Professor Wolf-Dieter Ludwig with the support of the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). This report combines healthcare provision research with the evaluation of new medicines that were first offered three years ago and that have undergone an early assessment by AMNOG criteria. In this respect, the innovation report offers a kind of "late assessment" of the drugs from the year 2015. The increasing marketing of orphan drugs can also be seen in this year's Innovation Report, as well as the trend towards accelerated market entry of pharmaceuticals.

The Innovation Report 2018 critically evaluates the new drugs launched in 2015 into the pharmaceutical market for German health insurance. Many patients with serious diseases that have been only symptomatically treatable live in the hope of being cured by newly developed medicines. These include, for example, drug therapies for Alzheimer’s dementia - which are dealt with in a separate chapter in this Report - but also new medicines for the treatment of malignant diseases. In particular, with regard to the former condition, information is regularly promulgated that raises hopes of a cure, but so far there has been no real therapeutic breakthrough with regard to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s dementia.

Altogether, 32 of the 37 pharmaceutical products introduced in 2015 are included in the Innovation Report 2018. In the report, there are 7 positive and 10 negative evaluations (indicated by a green or red traffic light respectively). Numbering nearly 50 % of the products, the largest proportion is registered as having at least partial additional benefits, which is indicated by a yellow traffic light.

Orphan drugs, used to treat rare diseases which afflict no more than 5 persons per 10,000 according to the EU definition, account for a third of the new drugs. In addition, there is a clear lack of new antibiotics or drugs available in the market for treating most “other neurological diseases” and mental disorders. 

Download Innovation Report 2018:
Long version (in German)
Short version (in German)

Download:
Statement for the press conference by Gerd Glaeske (in German)
Slides for the press conference by Gerd Glaeske (in German)


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58559
E-Mail: gglaeske@uni-bremen.de

The Special Issue of the WSI-Mitteilungen was edited by the members of the working group "Social, Cultural and Economic Inequalities".

The working group "Social, Cultural and Economic Inequalities" edited the Special Issue 5/2018 "Dynamics of Inequality". The issue includes a variety of articles, discussion pieces concerning status competition and social segregation, right-wing populism, global inequalities, wealth and income inequality, taxation and many more.
The special issue was published on October 1st by Nomos and can be purchased and downloaded as of now.

Download:
WSI Mitteilungen Ausgabe 05/2018

More information:
Working group "Social, Cultural and Economic Inequalities"


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Olaf Groh-Samberg
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-66440
E-Mail: olaf.grohsamberg@uni-bremen.de

Research Commission of the Academic Senate sees all goals for the creation of the SOCIUM fulfilled.

The second item on the agenda of the Academic Senate on June 6th, 2018 entailed an important decision for the Social Sciences in Bremen: the continuation of the SOCIUM as a central research facility of the University. The SOCIUM had prepared a 400 page report of its work and achievements for the years 2015 to 2017. Based on this documentation the Research Commission of the Senate recommended without hesitation or reservations the extension of time frame for the research of the SOCIUM for another five years.

The Senate followed this recommendation unanimously. The question of the Rector whether the SOCIUM fulfilled all the goals envisioned at its creation was emphatically answered in the affirmative by the Chairman of the Research Commission. Hence, the institutional foundation of the SOCIUM is secured till the end of 2022.

As a central research facility of the university SOCIUM is an independent center under direct supervision of the Executive Board of the University. It coordinates all the social science research on inequality and social policy. It comprises of researchers from sociology, political science and health sciences. Around 100 mostly junior researchers work in approximately three dozen research projects. The total sum of external research financing reached 3.7 Mio. euros in 2017. 9 of the 15 research projects of the new Collaborative Research Center 1342 Global Dynamics of Social Policy are headed by senior researchers from the SOCIUM. SOCIUM not only reflects the core of the excellent social science research in Bremen but also offers the institutional basis for the development of new research ideas.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Frank Nullmeier
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58576
E-Mail: frank.nullmeier@uni-bremen.de

Sigrid LupieriSigrid Lupieri
Lupieri is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge and will stay in Bremen for three months, collaborating with the SOCIUM and the CRC 1342 "Global Dynamics of Social Policy".

Thanks to the generous support of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grant, we are delighted to be hosting Sigrid Lupieri at the CRC and SOCIUM as a guest researcher for the period of 01 September to 30 November 2018. As a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, her research analyses the factors influencing the allocation of health care resources to older Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Ms. Lupieri's previous experience includes working at UNESCO and UNDP in New Delhi and New York, as well as several years as a journalist in Armenia, Georgia, Germany and the U.S. She holds master’s degrees in journalism (Northwestern University) and modern European history (University of Cambridge), and a BA in foreign languages and literatures from the University of Udine, Italy. During her stay at our center, Ms. Lupieri will be working in close collaboration with the A04 project "Global developments in health care systems and long-term care services".


Contact:
Dr. Lorraine Frisina Doetter
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58561
E-Mail: frisina@uni-bremen.de