News

07 Jan 21 | News

New FNR funded research projects (3 CORE & 3 AFR) will start in 2021

Thematics covered include: sustainable mobility, health disparities, international migration, gentrification and more

LISER is pleased to communicate that the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) has awarded LISER three CORE research projects and three AFR PhD Grants.

The retained projects are:

Multimodal Electric Vehicle demand ReSponsive Transport (M-EVRST)

CORE Project summary:
Developing a user-centered and flexible seamless multimodal mobility solution is expected to remove the obstacle to promote public transport and reduce car use. To further promote sustainable mobility, Luxembourg, like many cities in the world, expected to shift from conventional gasoline buses to full-electric buses by 2025 (MODU 2.0). However, operating a fleet of electric vehicles (EV) bring additional challenges in managing electric charging operations. This project aims to develop an innovative solution, which allows electric demand responsive transport (DRT) service to be integrated into existing transit systems in order to provide seamless multimodal mobility solutions to reduce car use and increase public transport ridership. The originality of the project is to relax fixed route transit network constraints in the integrated EV-DRT model while considering the synchronization of EV-DRT and mass transit. The output of the project will provide a series of original mathematical models, algorithms and decision support toolboxes to assist operators and the government to optimally configure the system planning including fleet size and charging infrastructure to meet stochastic travel demand.

Duration:
36 months

Main LISER researchers:
Tai-Yu Ma (PI)
Sylvain Klein
PhD student

External researchers:
Francesco Viti (co-PI) University of Luxembourg
Richard Connors (University of Luxembourg)
Silvia Venditti (University of Luxembourg)
Postdoc ( University of Luxembourg) 
Joseph Y.J. Chow (University of New York)

Time-varying residential neighborhood effects on cardiometabolic health (MET'HOOD)

CORE Project summary:
Cardio-metabolic (CM) diseases are one of the leading causes of premature death worldwide and a major contributor to health disparities. Epidemiology has traditionally focused on individual-level risk factors of CM diseases, such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Environmental causes, however, remain poorly understood at the population level. Though some host-related factors do play a role, the dramatic increase in CM diseases over recent decades is largely attributed to changes in the socio-economic environment in which behavioral patterns occur, and in the physical environment, such as urban sprawl, amenities, transport infrastructure, which have resulted in socially patterned increases of motorized transportation, fastfood consumption, sedentary occupations and leisure activities, exacerbating CM-related disorders.
The MET’HOOD project investigates the relationships between the socio-economic and physical environmental characteristics of residential neighborhoods, behavioral CM risk factors, and the metabolic syndrome, over a nine-year period. This project aims at: i) examining the long-term effects of time-varying environmental exposure, ii) completing a country-wide, population-based longitudinal study, and  iii) investigating social disparities in time-varying neighborhood effects.
The project is developed by a team of health and urban geographers, epidemiologists, nutritionists, and sports scientists, with the support of local stakeholders in public health and urban planning.

Duration:
30 months

Main LISER researchers:
Camille Perchoux (PI)
Olivier Klein

External researchers:
Laurent Malisoux (co-PI) (Luxembourg Institute of Health)
Torsten Bohn (Luxembourg Institute of Health)

Labor Market Mobility: Immigration, Automation, and Inequality (LaMaM)

CORE Project summary:
European labor markets undergo significant dynamic changes, as the factors determining skill supply and demand evolve over time. On the one hand, technological progress motivates employers to automate tasks previously performed by workers. On the other hand, inflows of international migrants affect the available pool of skills. We expect these two interrelated phenomena to increase in importance in the coming decades, as they act as leading forces for skill mismatch, workers’ mobility, and inequality in wages. In this project, we study interactions between task automation and international migration in propagating wage and mobility effects across European labor markets. Our goal is to improve our understanding of this nexus by building and quantifying theoretical models of workers’ occupational and regional mobility. Within these frameworks, we evaluate the economic consequences of selected labor market policies (e.g., European visas for non-EU immigrants, upskilling programs in Germany, or improvements in the commuting infrastructure in the Greater Region).

Duration:
32 months

Main LISER researchers:
Michal Burzynski (PI)
Bertrand Verheyden
Frederic Docquier

Mentor:
Giovanni Peri (UC Davis)

GENTRILUX – Gentrification in Luxembourg: linking social changes to property wealth inequalities

AFR Project summary:
Is gentrification occurring in Luxembourg? Is gentrification changing with the return of the private rental sector and the rise of multiple property ownership in European countries? In this project, the notion of gentrification is extended to the process through which property investors are displacing homeowners in a context in which housing wealth is becoming increasingly necessary to one’s life chances. More generally, gentrification is reframed as transactions in which the buyer has a larger property wealth portfolio than the seller in a given area. This project brings new methodological and theoretical perspectives to a topic that is well-researched, but nonetheless still highly salient in academic debates. The creation of social inequalities through discrepancies between salary and house price increases, the lack of social housing, and migration waves makes Luxembourg accessible to a selected few. The project thus aims to contribute to the societal debate on the costs of Luxembourg's current developmental model and to provide insights for policy makers.

Duration:
36 months

LISER PhD candidate:
Madalina Mezaros

LISER supervisor:
Antoine Paccoud

External researchers:
Philippe Van Kerm (University of Luxembourg, local CET member)
Loretta Lees (Leicester University, external CET member)

Assessing the Impact of Environmental Policy on Consumption Behavior, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Income Distribution.

AFR Project summary:
In recent decades, the environment as policy issue has risen dramatically in political and public discourse. Particularly the emission of GHG is a major concern. Generally, policies addressing GHG seek to adjust behavior by incorporating the external costs of pollution into the decision-making of private actors, explicitly establishing a price or making polluting behavior relatively more expensive. This however raises two concerns. First, it increases inequality through higher prices, disproportionally impacting those at the bottom of the income distribution and those living in rural areas. Second, consumption behavior may be driven by incentives other than price.
This project utilizes microsimulation to investigate how impacts of environmental policies (EPs) and mitigation strategies differ across space and the income distribution by simulating changes in household consumption behavior, labor supply and disposable income. This allows us to analyze the environmental and distributional impact of EPs, investigating a potential equity-efficiency trade-off and identifying the winners and losers in Ireland and Luxembourg. This project extends the current literature to consider the effects of a wider range of EPs on spatial inequality at the national level and by considering behavioral drivers beyond price effects.

Duration:
36 months

LISER PhD candidate:
Jules Linden

LISER supervisor:
Denisa M. Sologon

External researchers:
Cathal O’Donoghue (National University of Ireland Galway)

Social suffering, ‘lifeworlds’ and agency of social assistance beneficiaries in Luxembourg

AFR Project summary:
The fight against the growing at-risk-of-poverty and socially excluded populations in the EU Member States is being led by social investment policies aimed at fostering social inclusion through active labour market policies. Within this framework, Luxembourg has recently reformed its guaranteed minimum income scheme by strengthening the dimension of activation of beneficiaries towards the labour market. This research focuses on the social suffering that ‘activated’ social inclusion income recipients experience in their daily lives and how it affects their social inclusion process. Based on observations made in previous research, it was assumed that social suffering is a significant underlying component of the social exclusion process and presents a substantial challenge for populations receiving social assistance in order to reintegrate into the labour market and be socially included.
The research will provide a comprehensive analysis of this empirically understudied phenomenon in order to better understand the constitution of social suffering throughout the course of social assistance beneficiaries’ lives and how it is linked to institutional or individual causes. Second, analyses of beneficiaries’ 'lifeworlds' will provide insight into the challenges of that they face in their daily lives, the forms of social suffering linked to these challenges, and how social suffering affects their agency. Third, the research examines how social suffering could hinder the activation process, notably the acquisition of new skills to increase beneficiaries’ chances of professional integration and their active participation in the life phase transition towards social inclusion.
This study uses qualitative research methodologies, which utilises individuals’ subjective points of view for explaining social phenomena. Data will be collected through narrative and semi-structured interviews based on life course research and will provide a deeper understanding of social assistance beneficiaries’ life phase transitions

Duration:
72 months (part-time)

LISER PhD candidate:
Roland Maas

LISER supervisor:
Catalina Lomos

External researchers:
Sébastien Schehr (co-supervisor, Université Savoie Mont-Blanc)
Andreas Hadjar (co-supervisor, Université du Luxembourg)