Grants

DKK 8 million from the Rockwool Foundation for Anna Piil Damm

Professor of economics Anna Piil Damm from TrygFonden's Centre for Child Research at the Department of Economics and Business Economics has received a grant of DKK 7,965,000 from the Rockwool Foundation for mapping which neighbourhoods in Denmark promotes educational attainment of migrant children.

Anna Piil Damm
Professor of economics Anna Piil Damm has received a grant of DKK 7,965,000 from the Rockwool Foundation. Photo: Aarhus BSS

Where you live in Denmark and which school you send your children to could decide how well your child does in school. This is especially true for migrant children. Professor of economics Anna Piil Damm aims to identify which combination works the better.

With a grant of DKK 8 million from the Rockwool Foundation, she will be able to map which neighbourhoods in each Danish municipality that promote educational attainment of migrant children. On her research team, she has her colleague postdoc Ahmad Hassani from TrygFonden's Centre for Child Research at the Department of Economics and Business Economics and Camilla Hvidtfeldt from the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit.

Their project has three parts. The first two parts focus on identifying the neighbourhoods and types of schools that advance the education of migrant children. The third part will utilise these results to map out which Danish neighbourhoods that advance the education of migrant children while simultaneously having affordable housing. The researchers call these attractive neighbourhoods ‘opportunity bargains’. Hence the title of the project: “The opportunity atlas for migrant children in Denmark”.

The results of the project will be transformed into an atlas, a series of interactive maps that show the attractive neighbourhoods for migrant children in Denmark. The researchers hope that the maps will provide a valuable tool when Danish municipalities have to assign housing to migrant families. By using the maps, the municipalities can identify the most suitable neighbourhoods in their municipality, and at the same time use the knowledge from the research project to advise the families in the best possible way. This means the families will have a better basis for deciding in which of the available neighbourhoods they wish to settle.

“This project is not about questioning national policies, such as the policy of spatial dispersal of refugees or the ghetto policies; we take those for granted. Our focus is to help the municipalities implement these policies as well as possible,” explains project leader Anna Piil Damm.

The grant from the Rockwool Foundation covers six years and will make it possible to offer the municipalities updated maps of the location of attractive and affordable neighbourhoods twice during that period.

The project utilises detailed data sets of  Danish neighbourhoods, data sets which the researchers have constructed previously  and which are part of Ahmad Hassani’s PhD project. With the new funds from the Rockwool Foundation, Ahmad Hassani will be appointed assistant professor at the department.

In addition to generating useful knowledge for Danish municipalities and migrant families, the researchers aim at making a substantial contribution to the international literature within the research field of ‘urban economics’.

”We are not the first researchers in the world to make interactive map of attractive neighbourhoods. But we believe we can contribute with ground-breaking research on how to identify these attractive neighbourhoods for low-income families. We can do so because we have a strong empirical design with more credible and correct estimates,” says professor of economics Anna Piil Damm.

Facts:

Project leader:
Professor of economics Anna Piil Damm from Trygfonden's Centre for Child Research, the Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University

Project participants:
Postdoc Ahmad Hassani from TrygFonden's Centre for Child Research, the Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, and Camilla Hvidtfeldt from the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit

Project title:
"The Opportunity Atlas for Migrant Children in Denmark"

Sub-project 1:
”Neighbourhood Determinants of Educational Attainment and School-Wellbeing of Migrant Children”

Sub-project 2:
“School Determinants of Educational Attainment and School-Wellbeing of Migrant Children”

Sub-project 3:
“Estimation of ‘Opportunity Bargains’ for Migrant Families and the Opportunity Atlas”