New publication with Lore Van Herreweghe in PLoS ONE on the role of religiousness in reducing old-age depressive symptoms.
Higher levels of religiousness are associated with better mental health outcomes, but most of previous research is cross-sectional, failing to address issues of selection and reverse causation. We assessed the longitudinal association between both public and private religiousness and depressive symptoms, drawing on data from 7,719 persons aged 65 and older of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Repeated measurements of different aspects of religiousness and depressive symptoms were used in random and fixed-effects models in order to assess the effect of changes in religious behavior on changes in depressive symptoms. Praying more than once a day was associated with more depressive symptoms (β = 0.150, 95% CI: 0.003, 0.298) relative to individuals who never pray, adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics, physical health covariates and history of depression, but the comparison with the fixed effects model suggests that this is the result of a selection effect. Participating weekly or more in a religious organization was associated with fewer depressive symptoms (β = -0.219, 95% CI: -0.344, -0.094), but this appeared to be spurious after taking due account of possible confounders (β = -0.092, 95% CI: -0.223, 0.038). Focusing on within-persons changes, we found that participating in religious organizations weekly or more was associated with more depressive symptoms (β = 0.275, 95% CI: 0.075, 0.475). Our findings do not support that religious behavior, both public or private, may be beneficial for the mental health of older Europeans.
In opdracht van Decenniumdoelen en Denktank Minerva schreven we het rapport ‘De lage middenklasse in België’ waarin we de vraag proberen te beantwoorden hoe de samenstelling en de welvaart van de lage middenklasse veranderd is in de voorbije dertig jaar.
In collaboration with the University of Flanders, I created a short animated video (in dutch) on how to combat poverty at the municipal level in Flanders and Belgium.
Together with Sarah Marchal, I recently published the paper The measurement of targeting design in complex welfare states: a proposal and empirical applications in Social Indicators Research.
In this article we develop an institutional targeting indicator that captures the policy intention to target towards the poor. Our indicator summarizes policy design into one parameter, and captures the complexity of beneﬁt design in contemporary welfare states in a meaningful way. Drawing on the OECD Beneﬁts and Wages data that capture the rules and legislation of tax beneﬁt systems, we demonstrate diﬀerent empirical applications for this indicator.
I participated in a television panel on child poverty and poverty policies in Flanders: Arm Vlaanderen, 13-06-2018, De Afspraak (Canvas).
New publication in the Journal of European Public Policy out now: The Matthew effect in childcare use: a matter of policies or preferences?. The article analyses the Matthew effect in formal childcare use across European countries. The results show that class differences in employment nor cultural preferences for home care can explain the Matthew effect. It is however related to structural constraints in the availability and affordability of formal childcare services.
New op-ed in De Standaard: Basisinkomen voor kinderen? Asociaal (25 Jan 2018, p. 42).
New interview in HUMO magazine on child poverty and public policy: click here
New Op-Ed in De Standaard (5 okt 2017): Het falen van een hele politieke klasse
Televion interview in Terzake magazine on poverty policy and poverty rates in Flanders.