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News | September 21, 2017

“Best Paper” award for Tobias Vogt

At this year's conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Demographie (German Society for Demography, dgd), former MPIDR researcher Tobias Vogt was presented with the award for "Best Paper."

At this year's conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Demographie (German Society for Demography, dgd), which took place on September 19-22 at the University of Rostock, Germany, former MPIDR researcher Tobias Vogt was presented with the award for "Best Paper" for the article The German East-West Mortality Difference: Two Cross-Overs Driven by Smoking, published in the journal Demography.

In the article, which was published jointly with MPIDR director Mikko Myrskylä and MPIDR researchers Alyson van Raalte and Pavel Grigoriev, the researchers reported that the death rates of women in East Germany are forecasted to exceed those of West German women. Since the tobacco consumption of young women in the East has risen significantly since reunification, their death rates could soon surpass those of women in the West. The deadly trend is hidden beneath a currently favorable trend in life expectancy. Therefore, the number of East German women who die from the consequences of smoking could rise unexpectedly and dramatically, according to the researchers.

“The article shows that our delight at the East-West alignment of mortality rates may be premature. Rather, we should worry that due to the differences in smoking behavior, we will soon be seeing high excess mortality in women in Eastern Germany. This is not only an important demographic finding, but is also very relevant to social policy. This article shows that demographic research can provide answers to key social issues,” said Michaela Kreyenfeld, professor of sociology at Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, who delivered the laudation. 

The prize was awarded for the first time this year. The “Best Paper” award is given to young researchers who are currently in the process of consolidating their academic careers. Authors of articles on a demographic issue that have been published in a peer-reviewed journal in the year before the annual meeting of the dgd are eligible to receive the prize. The prize is endowed with a sum of 200 euros.

Until August 2017, Tobias Vogt was a scientist in the Laboratory of Survival and Longevity. Since September 1, he has been an assistant professor at the University of Groningen.

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