Volkswagen Stiftung Foundation awards €1,5million research grant to international research team 

We are pleased to announce that Selçuk Bedük, Departmental Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy, is part of an international team that has recently been awarded a €1,5million research grant by Volkswagen Stiftung as part of the “Challenges and Potential for Europe” programme. The grant will fund their project 'Demographic Change and the Intergenerational Persistence in Homeownership in Europe' (DECIPHE). 

The research team includes Prof. P. Lersch and S. Zinn from University of Humboldt and DIW, Prof. Sergi Vidal from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and Dr. Marton Medgyesi from TARKI Social Research Institute.  

Their ground-breaking study will be the first to explore how Europe's dramatic demographic shifts—such as changes in partnership, fertility, mortality, and migration—affect homeownership across generations. For example, increasing life expectancy may reduce the resources that can be transferred across generations, while low fertility rates may reduce the number of siblings competing for these resources. Therefore, it is unclear how demographic changes affect homeownership across generations, especially considering their interplay with housing market dynamics, cultural norms and welfare institutions.  

Selçuk Bedük commented, “Housing is the main source of wealth for the majority, yet it is getting harder to reach for younger generations. Access to homeownership has become increasingly unequal advantaging kids from wealthier backgrounds. Richer parents able to help their children in various ways, and such intergenerational links are important sources of inequality transmission across generations. DECIPHE will comprehensively examine the strength of these mechanisms across countries and regions, and how they are affected by demographic changes. It will also inform policies by studying the effects of institutions and projecting future scenarios based on existing demographic trends.”  

This study employs a comparative research design that draws on long-term quantitative longitudinal data and will provide a micro-simulation model of the demographic conditions of intergenerational persistence for predicting future scenarios. It will also assemble an open-access database for contextual factors related to intergenerational homeownership, and collect new survey data on homeownership attitudes from four case countries with diverse housing markets, homeownership attitudes and family norms, namely, UK, Germany, Hungary and Spain.  

The research is set to continue until June 2028. For more information, please visit the project's website