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The Dirk J. Van de Kaa Award for Social Demography 2014

2 July 2014

The first Dirk J. van de Kaa Award was presented to dr Arnstein Aassve of Bocconi University Milan, at the 2014 European Population Conference which convened in Budapest from 25-28 June.

This Award was initiated by the Council of the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS). It honors outstanding achievements by an individual scholar in social demography, and the interplay of population dynamics and social change. The Award is granted every two years during the European Population Conference.

Laureate Arnstein Aassve

Arnstein Aassve holds a PhD in economics and is Professor in Demography, Department of Institutional Analysis and Public Management, Bocconi University and Deputy-director of DONDENA Centre for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi.

The laureate was nominated by 35 scholars from 11 countries;  his candidacy was evaluated by a Jury consisting of Guillaume Wunsch, Kathleen Kiernan and Zsolt Speder.


The Jury noted that Aassve’s work has been most influential in the field of social demography. Substantially, his work on young adults has revealed the interrelationship of family formation events, the impact of individual and household income on demographic decisions, and the influence of grandparents on the labour force participation of mothers. The cross-national nature of his work has furthermore contributed to a better understanding of the complex linkages between micro-level characteristics and macro-level context. Methodologically, his work has stressed the importance of measurement (e.g. poverty and well-being) and selection bias (e.g. marital disruption) and has greatly contributed to the application of advanced econometric and statistical models to the understanding and interpretation of demographic phenomena. 

Arnstein Aassve is a very productive and influential author of social demography. In addition to his contributions to the major demographic journals he also published in highly ranked journals of economics, sociology, social policy and statistics. Arnie, as he is known to his colleagues and friends, is also very active in the training of the next generation of demographers through his supervision, collaboration and mentoring of numerous students and postdocs, while several of his publications have been co-authored with junior colleagues all of whom greatly appreciate his scientific rigor, impressive knowledge, hard work and friendliness. The Jury is convinced that Arnie will continue to have a longstanding and far reaching influence on the discipline and salutes his remarkable achievements in the early stages of his career which are most impressive.



The Award is dedicated to the groundbreaking contributions of Dirk van de Kaa to the study of population including his work on the Second Demographic Transition. It also celebrates his efforts to co-found and build the European Association for Population Studies, notably as its first President. The Award is sponsored by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) where Dirk van de Kaa was founding Director from 1971-1987; currently Dirk van de Kaa is an Emititus Honorary Fellow at his home-institute.

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