28 Jun 2016

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


Legal Status and Health Care: Mexican-Origin Children in California, 2001–2014

Abstract

Using restricted data from the 2001–2014 California Health Interview Surveys, this research illuminates the role of legal status in health care among Mexican-origin children. The first objective is to provide a population-level overview of trends in health care access and utilization, along with the legal statuses of parents and children. The second objective is to examine the nature of associations between children’s health care and legal status over time. We identify specific status-based distinctions that matter and investigate how their importance is changing. Despite the continuing significance of child nativity for health care, the descriptive analysis shows that the proportion of Mexican-origin children who are foreign born is declining. This trend suggests a potentially greater role of parental legal status in children’s health care. Logistic regression analyses demonstrate that the importance of parental legal status varies with the health care indicator examined and the inclusion of child nativity in models. Moreover, variation in some aspects of children’s health care coalesced more around parents’ citizenship than documentation status in the past. With one exception, the salience of such distinctions has dissipated over time.


Highly Skilled Migration from Africa to the US: Exit Mechanisms, Demographic Determinants, and the Role of Socioeconomic Trends

Abstract

Despite increases in research on the migration of skilled Africans to the developed world, few studies have examined the specific mechanisms of departure contributing to these trends. Previous studies further contain limited analysis of how these mechanisms respond to Africa’s changing social and demographic trends. This study uses data from various sources to examine these issues. The results indicate that, in absolute terms, overall emigration flows of highly skilled Africans to the US more than doubled between 1980 and 2010. In addition, they suggest that previous arguments indicating that the recruitment of African professionals drives these flows understate the role of student migration in driving these movements. In the past three decades, more skilled Africans migrated to the US through student migration mechanisms than through any mechanism associated with the recruitment of workers. Furthermore, in recent years, the Diversity Visa Program has become the second most important mechanism through which skilled emigration from Africa occurs. Finally, the analysis finds that trends in African student emigration are highly responsive to youth population growth and that, surprisingly, the migration of skilled professionals is less influenced by African economic trends than by economic trends in the US.


Rural–Urban Child Height for Age Trajectories and Their Heterogeneous Determinants in Four Developing Countries

Abstract

The large literature on health differentials between rural and urban areas relies almost exclusively on cross-sectional data. Bringing together the demographic literature on area-level health inequalities with the bio-physiological literature on children’s catch-up growth over time, this paper uses panel data to investigate the stability and origins of rural–urban health differentials. Using data from the Young Lives longitudinal study of child poverty, I present evidence of large level differences but similar trends in rural versus urban children’s height for age in four developing countries. Further, observable characteristics of children’s environment such as their household wealth, mother’s education, and epidemiological environment explain these differentials in most contexts. In Peru, where they do not, children’s birthweight and mothers’ health and other characteristics suggest that initial endowments—even before birth—may play an important role in explaining "residual" rural–urban child height inequalities. These latter results imply that prioritizing maternal nutrition and health is essential—particularly where rural–urban height inequalities are large. Interventions to reduce area-level health inequalities should begin even before birth.


Outsourcing of Housework and the Transition to a Second Birth in Germany

Abstract

The struggle that women face in reconciling their work and family roles is one of the main explanations proposed for the rapid decline in fertility rates in some developed countries. This study examines the role of the outsourcing of housework in reducing such role incompatibility and in increasing fertility among women in Germany—a country with below-replacement fertility rates, which enacted a series of large-scale schemes from the beginning of the 1990s that give incentives to households to outsource housework. Based on Goode’s role strain theory and by using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this study analyzed whether women who outsourced housework after the birth of their first child had a higher probability of having a second child. A survival analysis of 3990 person years demonstrates that, controlling for observables, the outsourcing of domestic labor is positively associated with a higher probability of a subsequent second birth in German women.


Changes in Cohabitation After the Birth of the First Child in Chile

Abstract

In Chile, as in other Latin American countries, most children born outside of marriage are born to currently cohabiting couples. After having their first child, parents could marry, separate, or experience no change in union status. This paper explores changes in cohabitation that occur after the birth of the first child in Chile and analyzes how these changes might be associated with the birth of children and socioeconomic status. The data come from the New Chilean Family Survey, a small longitudinal survey administered to women after giving birth (n = 564). I use life tables and event history techniques to assess changes in respondent union status up to 4 years after the birth of the first child, and to study the transitions out of cohabitation. The results indicate that the unions in the sample are relatively stable, because less than 40 percent of cohabiters change status over the period of 4 years. However, marriage still appears to be a more stable type of union than cohabitation. Among cohabiters, there is evidence of a nonlinear relation between union stability and educational attainment, because the most stable unions are the unions of women with a high school diploma and not the unions of women who did not complete their secondary education. Having planned the first birth and the birth of an additional child seems to consolidate the cohabiting union, because these variables are not related to the entry into marriage, but they are related to lower risks of dissolution. These findings suggest that the Chilean case differs from the cases of Europe and the United States.


Erratum to: Outsourcing of Housework and the Transition to a Second Birth in Germany


A Case for “Reverse One-Child” Policies in Japan and South Korea? Examining the Link Between Education Costs and Lowest-Low Fertility

Abstract

Household spending on children’s pre-tertiary education is exceptionally high in Japan and South Korea, and has been cited as a cause of low fertility. Previous research attributes this high spending to a cultural emphasis on education in East Asian countries. In this paper, we argue that institutional factors, namely higher education and labor market systems, play an important role in reinforcing the pressure on parents to invest in their children’s education. We review evidence showing that graduating from a prestigious university has very high economic and social returns in Japan and South Korea, and examine the implications for fertility within the framework of quantity–quality models. Finally, we put forward ‘reverse one-child’ policies that directly address the unintended consequences of these institutional factors on fertility. These policies have the additional virtues of having very low fiscal requirements and reducing social inequality.


Pathways to a Stable Union? Pregnancy and Childbearing Among Cohabiting and Married Couples

Abstract

This study analyzes the stability of cohabiting and marital unions following a first birth. But unlike previous research, it compares the subsequent trajectories of unions that began with a pregnancy to those in which conceptions came after coresidence. The U.S. data from the 2006–2010 and 2011–2013 cross-sectional files of the National Survey of Family Growth indicate that roughly 1-in-5 first births were associated with rapid transitions from conception into either cohabitation or marriage. Moving in together following a pregnancy—especially an unintended one—is unlikely to lead to marital success or union stability. Compared with marital unions, dissolution rates following birth were particularly high for couples who entered a cohabiting union following conception. Only a small minority of these couples married (i.e., less than one-third), and these marriages experienced high dissolution rates. The results also suggest that the most committed cohabiting couples got married after finding themselves pregnant, leaving behind the most dissolution-prone cohabiting couples. The American family system is being transformed by newly emerging patterns of fertility among cohabiting couples.


Economic and Institutional Context and Second Births in Seven European Countries

Abstract

The extent to which mothers progress to a second child varies greatly between European countries. Although both institutional and economic context are believed to be partly responsible for these differences, available research on economic conditions and fertility mostly focuses on first births and studies on family policy and fertility have hitherto insufficiently addressed population heterogeneity. Combining longitudinal microdata from the Harmonized Histories with contextual data on labour market uncertainty and family policy, this paper uses discrete-time hazard models to analyse the impact of economic and institutional context on second birth hazards of 22,298 women in 7 European countries between 1970 and 2002. Particular attention is paid to variation in the contextual effects by level of education. We find that aggregate-level unemployment and temporary employment reduce second birth hazards, particularly for low- and medium-level educated women. Family policies are positively related to second birth hazards. Whereas family allowances stimulate second births particularly among low educated mothers, the positive effect of childcare is invariant by level of education.


The Emergence of Two Distinct Fertility Regimes in Economically Advanced Countries

Abstract

Beginning in 2000, in economically advanced countries, a remarkable bifurcation in fertility levels has emerged, with one group in the moderate range of period total fertility rates, about 1.9, and the other at 1.3. The upper branch consists of countries in Northern and Western Europe, Oceania and the United States; the lower branch includes Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, and East and Southeast Asia. A review of the major theories for low-fertility countries reveals that none of them would have predicted this specific bifurcation. We argue that those countries with fertility levels close to replacement level have institutional arrangements, and related policies, that make it easier, not easy, for women to combine the worker and mother roles. The institutional details are quite different across countries, suggesting that multiple combinations of institutional arrangements and policies can lead to the same country-level fertility outcome. Canada, the only exception to this bifurcation, illustrates the importance of the different institutional structures in Québec compared to the rest of Canada.


Challenges in Measuring and Studying Multipartnered Fertility in American Survey Data

Abstract

Multipartnered fertility (“MPF”) has become a major topic of interest in the United States due to potential negative linkages with parental, child, and family wellbeing. A first step in studying any newly emerging (or newly identified) social phenomenon is to properly define the issue and identify its prevalence. However, this is problematic in the case of MPF because most existing sources of data were not originally designed to study MPF. We examine the major data sources used to produce estimates of MPF in the United States, discussing the methodological issues that produce conflicting prevalence estimates and providing guidelines for producing comparable estimates. We also discuss important considerations for research seeking to link MPF and outcomes. Our recommendations will help researchers situate their findings in the broader literature and spur future research.


Comparing the U.S. Decennial Census Coverage Estimates for Children from Demographic Analysis and Coverage Measurement Surveys

Abstract

Following every U.S. decennial census since 1960, the U.S. Census Bureau has evaluated the completeness of coverage using two different methods. Demographic analysis (DA) compares the census counts to a set of independent population estimates to infer coverage differences by age, sex, and race. The survey-based approach (also called dual system estimation or DSE) provides coverage estimates based on matching data from a post-enumeration survey to census records. This paper reviews the fundamentals of the two methodological approaches and then initially examines the results of these two methods for the 2010 decennial census in terms of consistency and inconsistency for age groups. The authors find that the two methods produce relatively consistent results for all age groups, except for young children. Consequently, the paper focuses on the results for children. Results of the 1990, 2000, and 2010 decennial censuses are shown for the overall population in this age group and by demographic detail (age, race, and Hispanic origin). Among children, the DA and DSE results are most inconsistent for the population aged 0–4 and most consistent for ages 10–17. Results also show that DA and DSE are more consistent for Black than non-Black populations. The authors discuss possible explanations for the differences in the two methods for young children and conclude that the DSE approach may underestimate the net undercount of young children due to correlation bias.


Assessing the Predictive Value of Fertility Expectations Through a Cognitive–Social Model

Abstract

This paper grounds its analysis in a novel model (Bachrach and Morgan in Popul Dev Rev, 39:459–485, 2013) that suggests that responses to questions about fertility intentions may reflect distinct phenomena at distinct points in the life course. The model suggests that women form "true" intentions when their circumstances make the issue of childbearing salient and urgent enough to draw the cognitive resources needed to make a conscious plan; before this, women report intentions based on cognitive images of family and self. We test the implications of this model for reported fertility expectations using NLSY79 data that measure expectations throughout the life course. We find that early in the life course, before marriage and parenthood, women’s fertility expectations are associated with family background and cognitive images of family and future self. Later in the life course, as women experience life course transitions that confer statuses normatively associated with childbearing—such as marriage—and parenthood itself, their reported expectations are better predictors of their fertility than before they passed these life course milestones. Our empirical results provide support for a model which has important implications for both the measurement and conceptualization of women’s intended and expected fertility.


Educational Attainment and Mortality in the United States: Effects of Degrees, Years of Schooling, and Certification

Abstract

Researchers have extensively documented a strong and consistent education gradient for mortality, with more highly educated individuals living longer than those with less education. This study contributes to our understanding of the education–mortality relationship by determining the effects of years of education and degree attainment on mortality, and by including non-degree certification, an important but understudied dimension of educational attainment. We use data from the mortality-linked restricted-use files of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) sample (N = 9821) and Cox proportional hazards models to estimate mortality risk among U.S. adults. Results indicate that more advanced degrees and additional years of education are associated with reduced mortality risk in separate models, but when included simultaneously, only degrees remain influential. Among individuals who have earned a high school diploma only, additional years of schooling (beyond 12) and vocational school certification (or similar accreditation) are both independently associated with reduced risks of death. Degrees appear to be most important for increasing longevity; the findings also suggest that any educational experience can be beneficial. Future research in health and mortality should consider including educational measures beyond a single variable for educational attainment.


What Will You Do If I Say ‘I Do’?: The Effect of the Sex Ratio on Time Use within Taiwanese Married Couples

Abstract

This paper uses the natural experiment of a large imbalance between men and women of marriageable age in Taiwan in the 1960s to test the hypothesis that higher sex ratios lead to husbands (wives) having a lower (higher) share of couple’s time in leisure and higher (lower) share of the couple’s total work time (employment, commuting, and housework). The sample includes 18,134 Taiwanese couples’ time diaries from 1987, 1990, and 1994. The OLS analysis finds evidence of the predicted effects of the county-level sex ratio on husbands’ and wives’ share of leisure and total work time. The county-level sex ratio’s impact on college-educated husbands’ time use is shown to be larger than the impact on non-college-educated husbands’ time use. A two-stage least square analysis controlling for possible endogeneity of county of residence returns similar findings.


Effects of Minority Status and Perceived Discrimination on Mental Health

Abstract

Based in a minority social stress perspective, this study uses propensity score matching techniques to assess the impact of self-reported discrimination on mental health. Using a sample of 14,609 young adults from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult  Health, we explore whether the effects of discrimination vary across status characteristics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and body mass), including both majority and minority populations. Further we investigate the heterogeneous effects of discrimination across propensity scores, or probabilities of experiencing discrimination. We find that self-reported discrimination increases the average perceived stress score and depressive symptoms score by roughly ½ standard deviation, but is not related to anxiety. Further, our results show that while all groups are negatively affected by discrimination, the magnitude of the impact is largest among groups with the lowest propensity scores.


Reassessing and Revising Commuting Zones for 2010: History, Assessment, and Updates for U.S. ‘Labor-Sheds’ 1990–2010

Abstract

This paper employs commuter flow data from the 1990 and 2000 Decennial Censuses, and the 2006–2010 American Community Survey to replicate, evaluate, and extend the delineation of commuting zones first proposed by Tolbert and Killian (Labor Market Areas for the United States, 1987). Commuting zones offer a valuable tool for research on regional economies and have long served rural sociologists, economists, and geographers interested in a representation of the economy that acknowledges a connection between urban and rural areas and the capacity of economic systems to cross state lines. Our delineations provide both an update in the form of new delineations for 2010 and a revised set of 1990 and 2000 delineations that benefit from a consistent methodology across decades. We also provide a set of tools for comparing delineations across methods and over time. In presenting our revised delineations, we shed light on the role of expert opinion in the original delineations, the strengths and weaknesses of the original method, and offer suggestions for further revision of this tool that may better reflect the theoretical conception of commuting zones.


It is Hard to Swim Upstream: Dietary Acculturation Among Mexican-Origin Children

Abstract

Health and immigration researchers often implicate dietary acculturation in explanations of Mexican children of immigrants’ weight gain after moving to the U.S., but rarely explore how diet is shaped by immigrants’ structural incorporation. We used data from the 1999/00-2009/10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess how indicators of Mexican-origin children’s acculturation and structural incorporation influence two outcomes: how healthy and how “Americanized” children’s diets are. Indicators of acculturation were strongly associated with more Americanized and less healthy diets. However, structural incorporation indicators were mostly unrelated to diet outcomes net of acculturation. An exception was that parental education was positively associated with consuming a healthy diet. Finally, children of natives consumed more Americanized, unhealthy diets than children of immigrants and these differences were largely explained by differences in the acculturation. Children of natives would have consumed an even less healthy diet were it not for their higher levels of parental education. Overall, the results suggest that the process of adapting to the U.S. life style is associated with the loss of cultural culinary preferences and less healthy eating behaviors despite improvements in socioeconomic status.


Australia Farewell: Predictors of Emigration in the 2000s

Abstract

The factors leading individuals to immigrate to developed contexts are widely studied, but comparatively less is known about those who emigrate from them. In this paper, we use data from a nationally representative cohort of Australian adults to develop longitudinal measures of emigration and to assess how social ties and individual economic position predict emigration. Cox proportional hazards models indicate that the propensity to emigrate is particularly pronounced for those with relatively little social connectedness in Australia. Specifically, our results show that first-generation Australians, especially those with relatively short durations in the country, have substantially higher emigration rates than later-generation Australians. Similarly, having a partner with deeper generational roots in Australia strongly reduces the likelihood to emigrate. At the same time, our analysis also shows that economic position matters, with the not employed having higher risks of emigration. Perhaps most interestingly, estimates from our models reveal that those with university degrees are much more likely to emigrate than individuals with lower levels of education, a finding that is true for both first- and later-generation Australians.


Multistate Transfer Rate Estimation from Adjacent Populations

Abstract

In multistate populations, the rates of interstate transfer cannot generally be determined from the size and composition of the populations at the beginning and end of a time interval. With N living states, the population data give only N equations to determine the N 2 possible rates. Here, the QERT (quadratic estimation of rates of transfer) approach is advanced that allows the transfer rates to be estimated when the products of selected pairs of rates can be assumed constant. The solution can be written in closed form and, for N living states, involves no more than N−1 quadratic equations. Compared to the leading alternative approaches, QERT provides very similar numerical estimates, while yielding the underlying behavioral rates, having flexible input requirements, accommodating all structural zeros, and reproducing the exact solution when interstate transfers are strictly hierarchical. The QERT approach is applied to construct labor force life tables for U.S. men and women for 2005–2010. The results show that labor force participation differences between men and women have continued to narrow, and that the QERT approach can generate robust worklife estimates. QERT thus provides new opportunities for demographic analysis in the absence of direct data on behavioral rates.