Due to growing urban-rural inequalities and disadvantages in the labor market, rural regions are more affected than ever by migration. Attachment to rural areas ('place attachment') and high quality of life are crucial for maintaining sustainable rural livelihoods and the availability of a skilled workforce within and outside the agricultural sector. In its work, the research area, therefore, focuses on the one hand on the measurement of quality of life and rural welfare in rural areas. On the other hand, the decision-making behavior of rural households concerning employment, migration, and investment and consumption behavior is analyzed. Furthermore, the impact of governmental and private initiatives on the rural population's income, economic participation and quality of life is investigated.
The RuWell research team is investigating the challenges in Europe's rural areas, which are affected by migration and an aging population. The focus is on the little considered sense of place attachment. Using a well-being index, the interrelationships in selected rural regions in Eastern Germany and Southeastern Europe are analyzed.
The project investigates why farmers stay on their farms despite incentives to move. It is based on the concept of "status quo bias," in which people have a preference for the current situation. It uses choice experiments and the theory of planned behavior to understand the cognitive factors behind this decision.
The Rural NEET Youth Network (RNYN) aims to establish a European-led multidisciplinary network for rural areas where many young people are so called NEETs (not in employment, education or training). It develops a model for risk analysis and protective factors as well as an online monitoring model for this group.