30 Aug 2015

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


Gentrification and Segregated Wealth in Rural America: Home Value Sorting in Destination Counties

Abstract

The term “gentrification” carries conflicting popular connotations, conjuring images of both revitalization and displacement. Despite a rich critical literature from urban social scientists, gentrification as it relates to rural housing and rural development is a similarly conflicted term. With the frequent conflation of rural gentrification and economic improvement, researchers and policy-makers alike need more nuanced techniques for identifying how the process distributes costs and benefits across households. This paper operationalizes rural gentrification as a specific demographic pattern of household migration, termed the “Rural Gentrification Score,” and maps its footprint between 1980 and 2000 in 25 US states. It then uses census data to better understand the impacts of rural gentrification on home values in rural counties, interrogating the popular notion that homeowners benefit from gentrification. Using comparative analyses, two related hypotheses about rural gentrification and inequality are explored: (1) that gentrified rural counties were susceptible to greater home value segregation and (2) that over time gentrification’s spread culminated in greater homogeneity of home values. Results support each of these hypotheses and point to nuances in the relationship between population turnover, inequality, and socioeconomic context. Most notably the findings highlight a spatial and temporal pattern of widening wealth inequality in gentrifying rural counties.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Use Among Active-Duty Military Personnel, Veterans, and Reservists

Abstract

Subpopulations have variable connections to specific institutions, such as the military, which can influence their use of social programs and access to resources. We use data from the 5-year (2008–2012) American Community Survey (ACS) public-use file to examine current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use by military service status: active-duty personnel, recent veterans, long-term veterans, and reserve/guard members. Overall and by military service status, we estimate weighted descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression models that include demographic and socioeconomic controls. We document low but non-trivial levels of participation among active-duty personnel (2.2 %), higher but still moderate levels of SNAP use among veterans (7.1 % for recent veterans and 6.5 % for long-term veterans), and the highest level of use among members of the reserve/guard (9.0 %). Multivariate analyses support hypotheses based on the potential for the military, as a total institution, to substantially reduce use of SNAP among active-duty personnel, while veterans and reservists, who are more distal from food-related institutional resources, have higher likelihoods of using SNAP. Although levels of SNAP use among active-duty personnel, veterans, and reservists are lower than those observed in the national population, which includes those with no direct connection to military institutions, findings suggest that leaving active-duty military service results in a substantial and relatively immediate reduction in food-related resources for many recent veterans and their families. We discuss the implications of the findings for policy, limitations of the research, and directions for future research.


Mandating Prescription Contraception Coverage: Effects on Contraception Consumption and Preventive Health Services

Abstract

While recent national discussions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made the introduction of mandated contraceptive coverage within health insurance policies seem like a novel idea, it is not new at all. Since the late 1990s, 29 states have mandated that insurance providers include prescription contraceptive supplies and, in some instances, associated contraceptive services in their coverage. We use state-level policy variation to generate both difference-in-differences and triple difference estimates to determine if women in states with state-level contraception supply or contraception supply and services insurance mandates experienced changes in their utilization of contraception and preventive health care services. We find a positive relationship between these policies and prescription contraception use for those with low educational attainment, but the results are not robust to a variety of specifications. Our results also show an increase in the consumption of preventive health services for women with low educational attainment as a result of these health insurance mandates. We conclude by discussing the implications for the ACA.


Whose Fertility Preferences Matter? Women, Husbands, In-laws, and Abortion in Madhya Pradesh, India

Abstract

Few studies investigate the influence of husbands’ or others’ fertility preferences on women’s abortion behavior, in spite of longstanding recognition that women are seldom the sole decision-makers governing reproductive behavior. This study uses survey data detailing women’s reproductive histories in Madhya Pradesh, India to analyze the role of women’s fertility preferences, their perceptions of their husbands’ and in-laws’ preferences, and empowerment in two aspects of abortion behavior: the decision to attempt an abortion (n = 8852 pregnancies) and to seek a surgical abortion with a medical provider (n = 752 abortion attempts). The latter is estimated using a Heckman’s selection model. Women are most likely to attempt an abortion and to do so via surgical abortion when they and their husbands agree that they do not want another child. Husbands’ fertility preferences exercise a strong, independent effect on both outcomes, while the effect of in-laws’ preferences is weaker. However, the strongest influence on abortion behavior is women’s own fertility preferences: the odds of attempting abortion decrease by a factor of 0.06 (p value <0.001) among women who wanted a pregnancy compared to those who did not. The magnitude of this effect does not diminish when controlling for others’ fertility preferences. Restrictions on women’s mobility increase the odds of attempting an abortion, but significantly reduce the odds of a surgical abortion.


Conflicts in the Use of the ACS by Federal Agencies Between Statutory Requirements and Survey Methodology

Abstract

The American Community Survey (ACS) has been fully implemented since 2005. The Census Bureau has released four 5-year datasets, the most geographically detailed dataset. Yet, government agencies still grapple with how to use the multiple datasets and estimates. The Census Bureau publishes guidelines for their use, emphasizing the need to balance timeliness and precision in choosing an estimate and encouraging the use of the margin of error. This study examines how three federal agencies use the ACS to implement programs to understand whether the published guidelines address the issues of importance to government agencies. These programs all use income data from the ACS, but for different ends: eligibility criteria, evaluation of federal guideline implementation, and allocation of funds among urban areas. After reviewing agency publications, studying changes in policy, and conducting personal interviews with officials, we find that the agencies consider not only precision and timeliness when choosing an estimate, but also statutory requirements, computational limitations, and geographic needs. Federal agencies are cognizant that these estimates are subject to error, but find that the margin of error adds complexity that does not necessarily result in better implementation of programs. The ACS offers users multiple dataset choices, with varying degrees of reliability, to estimate population characteristics. Current Census Bureau guidelines for the ACS do not meet the needs of many government agencies, as federal statutes are not designed with the current survey methodology in mind.


Evaluating Linearly Interpolated Intercensal Estimates of Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of U.S. Counties and Census Tracts 2001–2009

Abstract

The American Community Survey (ACS) multiyear estimation program has greatly advanced opportunities for studying change in the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of U.S. communities. Challenges remain, however, for researchers studying years prior to the full implementation of the ACS or areas smaller than the thresholds for ACS annual estimates (i.e., small counties and census tracts). We evaluate intercensal estimates of the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of U.S. counties and census tracts produced via linear interpolation between the 2000 census and both the 2010 census and 2005–2009 ACS. Discrepancies between interpolated estimates and reference estimates from the Population Estimates Program, the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, and ACS are calculated using several measures of error. Findings are discussed in relation to the potential for measurement error to bias longitudinal estimates of linearly interpolated neighborhood change, and alternative intercensal estimation models are discussed, including those that may better capture non-linear trends in economic conditions over the 21st century.


Fertility Decline, Gender Composition of Families, and Expectations of Old Age Support

Abstract

Recent fertility declines in non-Western countries may have the potential to transform gender systems. One pathway for such transformations is the creation of substantial proportions of families with children of only one gender. Such families, particularly those with only daughters, may facilitate greater symmetry between sons and daughters. This article explores whether such shifts may influence gendered expectations of old age support. In keeping with patriarchal family systems, old age support is customarily provided by sons, but not daughters, in India. Using data from the 2005 Indian Human Development Survey, I find that women with sons overwhelmingly expect old age support from a son. By contrast, women with only daughters largely expect support from a daughter or a source besides a child. These findings suggest that fertility decline may place demographic pressure on gendered patterns of old age support and the gender system more broadly.


Socialization, Adaptation, Transnationalism, and the Reproductive Behavior of Sub-Saharan African Migrants in France

Abstract

Migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) move from a region with high fertility to regions with low fertility. Yet very few studies have examined the reproductive behavior of international migrants from SSA. This study examines the roles of origin and destination socialization on the fertility and fertility ideals of SSA migrants in France. The study draws on measures of assimilation to systematically examine the effects of socialization and adaptation as well as transnationalism for the effects of sustained origin ties. Data are from the TEO (“Trajectoires et Origines”) survey conducted in France (2008/2009). Logistic regression is used to examine current fertility (the odds of having a birth in the preceding 5 years), and poisson regression is used to examine cumulative fertility (children ever born) and fertility ideals (reported ideal number of children in a family). Controlling for sociodemographic factors, first-generation SSA migrants have higher fertility than second-generation SSA migrants and non-immigrants. But first- and second-generation SSA migrants have higher fertility ideals than non-immigrants. Among SSA migrants, first- and second-generation migrants do not differ in fertility and fertility ideals when adaptation is accounted for. Most measures of adaptation are negatively associated with actual fertility and fertility ideals. Transnationalism is associated with higher fertility ideals but less so with actual fertility. The study finds some evidence for origin socialization, but the findings are more strongly supportive of adaptation to the host society. Origin socialization appears to have a stronger influence on fertility ideals than actual fertility.


Subnational Population Projections by Age: An Evaluation of Combined Forecast Techniques

Abstract

Population projections commonly suffer from a decreasing accuracy with a higher degree of disaggregation. We suggest combining the cohort-component model and an averaged projection technique to improve precision of forecasts for small areas. Calculating ex-post population projections, we evaluate the precision and bias of the proposed method by contrasting error patterns of commonly used techniques using official population data from 46 districts of a German state for the years 1980–2013. In comparison to the individual methods considered, the combined approach results in the highest accuracy and lowest bias both for the total population and for age groups. The proposed method is also more robust regarding past growth.


The Increasing Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity of Children and Youth in China, 1989–2009: An Age–Period–Cohort Analysis

Abstract

As childhood overweight and obesity, especially its cohort component, can be viewed as the leading edge of future changes in the population prevalence of obesity, scholars are concerned about what temporal effects drive the rise of childhood overweight/obesity prevalence worldwide. Using eight waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey from 1989 to 2009, this research conducts hierarchical age–period–cohort analyses to investigate temporal patterns of the rising overweight/obesity prevalence for children and youth aged 2–25 in the world’s most populous country. We find that the age trajectory of overweight/obesity reaches a nadir around age 14 and 15 and increases afterwards. Children and youth are more likely to be overweight/obese in the most recent period of observation, and this pattern is persistent across different socio-demographic groups. Moreover, a statistically significant cohort component is detected for the overall population and further analyses reveal that this cohort increase is mainly restricted to males. Demonstrating distinct age, period, and cohort components embedded in the rise of childhood overweight/obesity in China, this research lends support to the global epidemic of obesity and calls attention to a new phase of the Epidemiologic Transition in China.


Realizing Racial and Ethnic Neighborhood Preferences? Exploring the Mismatches Between What People Want, Where They Search, and Where They Live

Abstract

The housing search process is an overlooked mechanism in the scholarly research that seeks to understand the causes of persistent racial residential segregation in the United States. Past research has explored in detail the preferences people hold in terms of the racial and ethnic composition of their neighborhoods, and more recently some have also examined the correspondence between racial and ethnic neighborhood preferences and current neighborhood racial/ethnic composition. But an intermediate stage—the racial/ethnic composition of where people search—has not been investigated. We analyze a subsample (n = 382) from the 2004–2005 Chicago Area Study to demonstrate the value of systematically studying the matches—or mismatches—between preferences, search locations, and neighborhood outcomes. We find that for whites, not only their current neighborhoods but also the neighborhoods in which they search for housing have larger percentages of whites than they say they prefer. In contrast, blacks—and to a lesser extent Latinos—search in neighborhoods that correspond to their preferences, but reside in neighborhoods with a larger percentage own group. Logistic regression analyses reveal that mismatches are associated with both a lack of information and inadequate finances, but also may be due to socially desirable responding for whites in particular. Our results provide suggestive evidence of the importance of unpacking the search process more generally and draw attention to what are likely to be productive new future data collection efforts as well as an area potentially ripe for policy interventions.


Erosion of Advantage: Decomposing Differences in Infant Mortality Rates Among Older Non-Hispanic White and Mexican-Origin Mothers

Abstract

We build on findings from recent research showing an erosion of infant survival advantage in the Mexican-origin population relative to non-Hispanic whites at older maternal ages, with patterns that differ by nativity. This runs counter to the well-documented Hispanic infant mortality paradox and suggests that weathering and/or other negative health selection mechanisms may contribute to increasing disadvantage at older maternal ages. Using the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) cohort-linked birth and infant death files, we decompose the difference in Mexican-origin non-Hispanic white infant mortality at older maternal ages to better understand the contribution of selected medical and social risk factors to components of the difference. We find differences in the distribution and effects of risk factors across the three populations of interest. The infant mortality rate (IMR) gap between Mexican-origin women and non-Hispanic whites can be attributed to numerous offsetting factors, with inadequate prenatal care standing out as a major contributor to the IMR difference. Equalizing access to and utilization of prenatal care may provide one possible route to closing the IMR gap at older maternal ages.


The Effects of Household Technology on Body Mass Index among Chinese Adults

Abstract

Current public obesity intervention focuses on promoting programs that encourage exercise and healthy eating. Our study emphasizes that rapid technological changes may also have the potential to lead to obesity epidemics. This research investigates whether household technology launched in China during the last two decades has the potential to cause increases in body mass index (BMI). We hypothesize that adopting household technology is a contributory factor in BMI increase, independent of daily calorie consumption and energy expenditure in exercise. To test this hypothesis, we use longitudinal data from individuals aged 18–55 who participated in the 1997–2009 China Health and Nutrition Survey. Linear fixed-effects regression captures the effects of the dynamic processes of adopting household technology on BMI. All analyses are stratified by gender. The results show that adopting computers or air conditioners is associated with BMI increases in men, while adopting washing machines promotes BMI increases in women. Having a computer is associated with a decrease in BMI for women. Food-preparation technologies, such as refrigerators, microwaves, rice makers, and pressure cookers, are associated with BMI increases for both men and women. This study suggests that household technology ownership and BMI increases are linked, whereas changes in overall energy intake and exercise may not function as mediators for this relationship. Future public health policy may evaluate interventions focused on increasing low-intensity activities impacted by household technologies.


Repartnering and Childbearing After Divorce: Differences According to Parental Status and Custodial Arrangements

Abstract

We use a stepfamily formation perspective to study two dimensions of the family life course following the dissolution of a first marriage. First, we examine how the presence of children from a prior union and the custody arrangements of those children influence the process of repartnering. In doing so, we extend the traditional explanations of union formation in terms of needs, attractiveness, and opportunities by taking into account the parental status of the new partners and a detailed classification of the custody arrangement of the children. Next, we investigate the likelihood of childbearing within those post-separation unions with a particular emphasis on the prior parental status of both partners. By studying post-separation union formation and fertility behavior together, we get a more complete depiction of stepfamily formation especially in their more complex forms. Our analyses are based on survey data for 2077 divorced men and 2384 divorced women collected in the Divorce in Flanders study. The results show that compared with other divorcees, full-time residential parents are the least likely to start a new union following separation and that parents are more likely to start a union with another parent than with a childless partner. Several of our results suggest that parenthood may not be a particularly attractive status on the partner market. Potential partners without children themselves appear especially reluctant to assume a (residential) step parental role. In contrast with the results for union formation, it is not the custody arrangement of the child(ren) but parental status itself that predicts childbearing within higher order unions. Our findings are important from a policy perspective as they stress the consequences of gender-neutral childrearing patterns following divorce for the repartnering of women after separation.


India’s Age Structure Transition, Sectoral Labor Productivities, and Economic Growth: Evidence and Implications Based on National Transfer Accounts

Abstract

Using the new methodology of National Transfer Accounts, this paper quantifies the economic impacts of age structure transition and productivity growth rate  on India’s economic growth over the period 2005–2050 by formal and informal sectors. Growth effects are captured by the first demographic dividend (FDD) and distinguished by sector-specific (a) productivity age profiles, (b) relative and absolute labor productivity growth rates, and (c) population distribution for the benchmark year during 2004–2005. Empirical results show that in the presence of these sector-specific differences, growth effects are higher and the sources of lower and slower FDD are attributable to lower productivity levels, growth rates of productivity, and growth rate of effective number of producers in informal sector. Further, throughout, growth effects of productivity are found to be stronger than the age structure transition. Sensitivity results show that growth effects can be remarkably higher at an annual rate of 17 % if benchmark output can be doubled in the informal sector, or FDD can be sustained up to 2050 if India’s productivity profile in formal (and informal) sector has a comparable shape with that of Japan/USA (and Philippines/Indonesia/Nigeria). Overall implications show that stronger policy efforts are required for improvement in productivity levels and growth in informal sector to maximize long-run economic growth through FDD. These new results and implications may be of relevance for formulation of age-structure and informal sector related growth promotion policies in other developing countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa.


Educational Attainment and Timing to First Union Across Three Generations of Mexican Women

Abstract

We use data from Wave 3 of the Mexican Family Life Survey (N = 7,276) and discrete-time regression analyses to evaluate changes in the association between educational attainment and timing to first union across three generations of women in Mexico, including a mature cohort (born between 1930 and 1949), a middle cohort (born between 1950 and 1969), and a young cohort (born between 1970 and 1979). Mirroring prior research, we find a curvilinear pattern between educational attainment and timing to first union for women born between 1930 and 1969, such that once we account for the delaying effect of school enrollment, those with the lowest (0–5 years) and highest levels of education (13+ years) are characterized by the earliest transition to a first union. For women born between 1970 and 1979, however, we find that the relationship between educational attainment and timing to first union has changed. In contrast to their peers born in earlier cohorts, highly educated women in Mexico are now postponing first union formation relative to the least educated. We draw on competing theories of educational attainment and timing to first union to help clarify these patterns in the context of Mexico.


Exploring the Inequality-Mortality Relationship in the US with Bayesian Spatial Modeling

Abstract

While there is evidence to suggest that socioeconomic inequality within places is associated with mortality rates among people living within them, the empirical connection between the two remains unsettled as potential confounders associated with racial and social structure are overlooked. This study seeks to test this relationship, to determine whether it is due to differential levels of deprivation and social capital, and does so with intrinsically conditional autoregressive Bayesian spatial modeling that effectively addresses the bias introduced by spatial dependence. We find that deprivation and social capital partly but do not completely account for why inequality is positively associated with mortality and that spatial modeling generates more accurate predictions than does the traditional approach. We advance the literature by unveiling the intervening roles of social capital and deprivation in the inequality-mortality relationship and offering new evidence that inequality matters in US county mortality rates.


Short-Term Labor Migration from Rural North India: Evidence from New Survey Data

Abstract

Despite high rates of internal migration, India is urbanizing relatively slowly. This paper uses new data from rural north India to study short-term migration to urban areas and its role in rural livelihoods. First, we demonstrate the importance of data collection techniques tailored to understanding short-term migration. Second, we consider how traditional theories of migration apply in this context, where the fixed costs of migration are low, the opportunity costs vary by season, and where migration is negatively selective for education and economic status. We conclude by considering the implications of this migration for theories of development and development policies.


The Impact of Social Security on Return Migration Among Latin American Elderly in the US

Abstract

International migration has long been considered the preserve of working-age adults. However, the rapid diversification of the elderly population calls for increased attention to the migration patterns of this group and its possible motivations. This study examines whether Latin American immigrants who are primary Social Security beneficiaries are more likely to return to their home countries during later life if they receive lower Social Security benefits. Using a regression discontinuity approach on restricted data from the US Social Security Administration (N = 1,515), this study presents the results of a natural experiment whereby the Social Security Administration unexpectedly lowered the Social Security benefits of the 1917–1921 birth cohorts due to a miscalculation in the benefit-calculation formula. Results suggest that approximately 10 % of primary Social Security beneficiaries from Latin America born close to these dates return migrated, the probability of which was not affected by Social Security benefit levels.


Ethnicity and Labor Market Incorporation of Post-1990 Immigrants in Israel

Abstract

Using data from “The Immigrants Survey” we compare economic incorporation of four ethnic groups of immigrants who arrived to Israel between 1990 and 2007: Ethiopia, Western Europe and the Americas, Asia and North Africa, and the Former Soviet Union. Labor market incorporation is evaluated in terms of labor force participation, occupational attainment and earnings. The analysis reveals that regardless of ethnicity, when compared to native-born, immigrant women face greater disadvantages in the labor market than immigrant men. Further analysis reveals that immigrants from the Former Soviet Union are more likely to become economically active than the other groups; immigrants from Europe and the Americas have better access to high status occupations than do either immigrant Former Soviet Union or Asia and Africa and Ethiopia. Ethiopian immigrants are the most disadvantaged group in attainment of high status lucrative occupations and earnings. The findings point toward an ethnic hierarchy among post-1990 immigrants in Israel with European-Americans at the top, followed by Soviet immigrants, followed by immigrants from Asia–Africa and ending with Ethiopian immigrants at the bottom. The meaning of these findings for possibility of emergence of a more diversified and elaborated system of ethnic stratification is discussed in light of Israel’s immigration policy.