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Fakultät Sozialwissenschaften


Material conditions and older age wellbeing in Germany and Poland: institutional and regional variation in individual risks and insurance mechanisms

Brief description

In view of the demographic development and growing social inequalities in many European countries, the question arises under what conditions a high level of well-being in old age is possible. The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of the relationship between material resources and the well-being of older people. To this end, we are conducting comparative analyses of Germany and Poland - two countries that on the one hand share many common features of welfare state institutions, but on the other hand also show significant differences with regard to the economic and social situation of the elderly population.

We investigate social inequalities over the life course and determinants of well-being in different national and regional contexts. Specifically, we focus on different material risks (e.g., illness and need for long-term care), safeguarding mechanisms at the individual (e.g., real estate ownership or private pension provision) as well as at the contextual level (e.g., transfer services and health care infrastructure) and their effects on individual well-being. For the analyses, longitudinal individual data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) will be combined with detailed regional data for Germany and Poland (at LAU level).

Project term


Cooperation partners

Dr. Michał Myck, Artur Król, Ellam Kulati, Monika Oczkowska (CenEA)

Team of the TU Dortmund University

Prof. Dr. Martina Brandt (project leader), Dr. Alina Schmitz, Claudius Garten, Imke Springer


German Research Foundation (Beethoven)


2023 Michał Myck, Monika Oczkowska, Claudius Garten, Artur Król, Martina Brandt (2023): What Can We Learn from Regional Patterns of Mortality During the Covid-19 Pandemic? FREE Network Policy Papers.

Myck, Michał; Oczkowska, Monika; Garten, Claudius; Król, Artur; Brandt, Martina: Deaths during the first year of the COVID-10 pandemic: insights from regional patterns in Germany and Poland. BMC Public Health 23: 177.
2022 Schmitz, A., Brandt, M., Kühne, S. & C. Garten: Worries about inadequate medical treatment in case of a COVID-19 infection: The role of social inequalities, COVID-19 prevalence and healthcare infrastructure. BMC Public Health 22: 1761.

Garten, Claudius; Myck, Michał; Oczkowska, Monika (2022): Homeownership and the perception of material security in old ageIZA Discussion Paper Series.

Schlitz, Alina; Brandt, Martina (2022): Health limitations, regional care infrastructure and wellbeing in later life: A multilevel analysis of 96 European regionsSocial Indicators Research.
2020 Brandt, Martina; Garten, Claudius; Myck, Michal; Oczkowska, Monika; Schmitz, Alina (2020): Ahead of future waves of Covid-19: A regional perspective on health risks and healthcare resources in Germany and PolandFREE Network Policy Papers.