26 Jan 2015

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


Are Differences in Disability-Free Life Expectancy by Gender, Race, and Education Widening at Older Ages?

Abstract

To examine change from 1991 to 2001 in disability-free life expectancy in the age range 60–90 by gender, race, and education in the United States. Mortality is estimated over two 10-year follow-up periods for persons in the National Health Interview Surveys of 1986/1987 and 1996/1997. Vital status is ascertained through the National Death Index. Disability prevalence is estimated from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of 1988–1994 and 1999–2002. Disability is defined as ability to perform four activities of daily living without difficulty. Disability-free life expectancy increased only among white men. Disabled life expectancy increased for all groups—black and white men and women. Racial differences in disability-free life expectancy widened among men; gender differences were reduced among whites. Expansion of socioeconomic differentials in disability-free life at older ages occurred among white men and women and black women. The 1990s was a period where the increased years of life between ages 60 and 90 were concentrated in disabled years for most population groups.


Bucking the Trend: Is Ethnoracial Diversity Declining in American Communities?

Abstract

Although increasing diversity at the national scale is a well-documented trend, substantial variation in patterns of ethnoracial change occurs across American communities. Our research considers one theoretically implied path: that some communities are ‘bucking the trend,’ becoming more homogeneous over time. Using 1980 through 2010 decennial census data, we calculate panethnic (five-group) entropy index scores to measure the magnitude of diversity for nearly 11,000 census-defined places. Our results indicate that while certain places reach their diversity peak in 1980 or 1990, they are few in number. Moreover, they experience a variety of post-peak trajectories other than monotonic diversity decline. Decreasing diversity is concentrated in the South and West, among places with higher levels of diversity and larger proportions of Hispanic or black residents at the beginning of the study period. These places exhibit complex shifts in racial–ethnic structure, but Hispanic succession predominates.


Race-Ethnic Differences in the Non-marital Fertility Rates in 2006–2010

Abstract

Research in the 1980s pointed to the lower marriage rates of blacks as an important factor contributing to race differences in non-marital fertility. Our analyses update and extend this prior work to investigate whether cohabitation has become an important contributor to this variation. We use data from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth to identify the relative contribution of population composition (i.e., percent sexually active single and percent cohabiting) versus rates (pregnancy rates, post-conception marriage rates) to race-ethnic variation in non-marital fertility rates (N = 7,428). We find that the pregnancy rate among single (not cohabiting) women is the biggest contributor to race-ethnic variation in the non-marital fertility rate and that contraceptive use patterns among racial minorities explain the majority of the race-ethnic differences in pregnancy rates.


The Long Arm of Adolescent Health Among Men and Women: Does Attained Status Explain Its Association with Mid-Adulthood Health?

Abstract

A growing body of research has established the effect of early health on later-life health. This study extends the literature by (1) examining multiple dimensions of mid-adulthood health including physical and mental conditions, (2) analyzing attained status (education and income) as a potential pathway through which health problems in adolescence may impact later health, and (3) considering the role of gender in these life course processes. Using over 20 years of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979 cohort (NLSY79), we test the associations between adolescent health limitations and eight adult health measures for men and women, and whether these associations are mediated by status attainment. We find strong links between adolescent health limitations and mid-adulthood health, especially among women. Among men, the associations are strong for measures of physical health but somewhat weaker for mental and general health measures—taking into account the men’s demographic characteristics, family background, and skills, the effects of adolescent limitations become non-significant for these dimensions. These patterns are largely independent of attained socioeconomic status; that is, education and income do not appear to be critical pathways from adolescent to adult health. Understanding how early health influences the long-term trajectory of health and social capital accumulation for men and women is critical for developing social and health research and policy, in order to optimize health over the entire life course.


Socioeconomic Stratification from Within: Changes Within American Indian Cohorts in the United States: 1990–2010

Abstract

Socioeconomic inequality in the United States persists with disparities in education, earnings, and health evident across racial and ethnic groups. Somewhat less attention has been given to the importance of inequality within minority racial and pan-ethnic groups. This paper considers the increasing divergence of socioeconomic status within cohorts of American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) adults in the United States. The analyses rely on US Census data for 1990, 2000, and 2010 to examine the relative contribution of demographic change and change in self-identification to the size of AIAN adult cohorts over time. Decomposition analyses demonstrate that declines in poverty within the AIAN cohorts are largely attributable to the more advantaged status of individuals who select AIAN in combination with other racial identifications.


The Relationship Between Duration of U.S. Residence, Educational Attainment, and Adult Health Among Asian Immigrants

Abstract

There is substantial educational heterogeneity among Asian immigrants to the United States, suggesting that the association between duration of U.S. residence with their health outcomes and behaviors may vary considerably by educational attainment. Using data from the 2003 New Immigrant Survey (N = 2,373), we find strong evidence that the detrimental associations between duration of U.S. residence and self-reported health, activity limitation status, chronic health conditions, and current smoking are concentrated among Asian immigrants with less than a high school education; in contrast, the health outcomes and behaviors of Asian immigrants who have at least a high school degree exhibit very few differences by duration of U.S. residence. These distinct duration–health patterns by educational attainment are not explained by duration-related differences in country of origin, class of admission, or English speaking skills. We also find a stronger duration relationship with current smoking than those with the health status measures among the least educated Asian men, indicating a potential behaviorally based explanation for poorer health among Asian immigrant men with longer duration of residence.


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.


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.


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.


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 Child Mortality Risks Associated with Diverse Patterns of Maternal Migration in Haiti

Abstract

Internal migration is a salient dimension of adulthood in Haiti, particularly among women. Despite the high prevalence of migration in Haiti, it remains unknown whether Haitian women’s diverse patterns of migration influence their children’s health and survival. In this paper, we introduce the concept of lateral (i.e., rural-to-rural, urban-to-urban) versus nonlateral (i.e., rural-to-urban, urban-to-rural) migration to describe how some patterns of mothers’ internal migration may be associated with particularly high mortality among children. We use the 2006 Haitian Demographic and Health Survey to estimate a series of discrete-time hazard models among 7,409 rural children and 3,864 urban children. We find that compared with their peers with nonmigrant mothers, children born to lateral migrants generally experience lower mortality, whereas those born to nonlateral migrants generally experience higher mortality. Although there are important distinctions across Haiti’s rural and urban contexts, these associations remain net of socioeconomic factors, suggesting they are not entirely attributable to migrant selection. Considering the timing of maternal migration uncovers even more variation in the child health implications of maternal migration; however, the results counter the standard disruption and adaptation perspective. Although future work is needed to identify the processes underlying the differential risk of child mortality across lateral versus nonlateral migrants, the study demonstrates that looking beyond rural-to-urban migration and considering the timing of maternal migration can provide a fuller, more complex understanding of migration’s association with child health.


The Receipt of Subsidized Housing across Generations

Abstract

In this paper, I ask whether children who grow up in subsidized housing return to the program as adults. I use the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting (IPTW) to compare children who grew up in subsidized housing to those who did not but lived in households eligible to receive the subsidy. I find that children who grew up in subsidized housing have small albeit statistically significant probabilities of returning to subsidized housing as adults.


Child Support in Immigrant Families

Abstract

In this study, we use nationally representative data from the U.S. Current Population Survey-Child Support Supplement (N = 28,047) to examine differences in nonresident fathers’ material contributions between children of native and foreign-born mothers. We focus on contributions provided through the formal child support system (whether the mother has a child support agreement and the amount received), as well as support provided informally (the amount of informal cash and whether she receives any in-kind support). We control for a variety of individual and household characteristics, including whether the nonresident father lives in a different state or in a different country. We find that foreign-born mothers are much less likely to have a child support agreement than native-born mothers, but have similar amounts of formal support, once an agreement is in place. Compared to native-born mothers, foreign-born mothers are also much less likely to receive in-kind support, but this difference is completely explained by fathers’ distance from the child. Foreign-born mothers do not differ at all on the amount of informal cash support received from fathers. Nonresident fathers’ residence outside the U.S. is an important mechanism through which nativity affects the likelihood of having a child support order and receiving any in-kind support, but not the amount of formal support (given an order) or the amount of informal cash support. Aggregate comparisons mask important differences within the foreign-born group by mothers’ and children’s citizenship status, years in the U.S., and region of origin.


Undercounting Urban Residents in Bolivia: A Small-Area Study of Census-Driven Migration

Abstract

Employing a small-area study approach in a single urban area in Bolivia, a country with high rates of internal circular migration, we describe how, in the months before the November 2012 census, local leaders and neighbors, concerned with maximizing the per capita resources their residential districts and rural communities could claim from central government, threatened to employ sanctions against absent individuals whom they judged to be regular residents. We use three types of data—a two-wave household survey, data from vehicle toll booths, and photographic logs of a minibus station—to show how these threats generated substantial movement out of the urban area, leading to an urban undercount of roughly 20 % of prime-age adults and 50 % of those aged at least 50. More generally, we argue that these data highlight how local leaders’ increasingly sophisticated attempts to shape data extend beyond the well-known examples from autocratic states. This is driven by a combination of intensive urban–rural connections, leaders’ greater democratic accountability to local voters, increasing fiscal transparency at the national level, increasing fiscal accountability of governments to transnational neoliberal institutions pushing “transparency” and “evidence-based” policy, and more overt talk about “resource sharing” that is rooted in an evidence-based planning paradigm. Since these structural conditions exist in many other developing countries, the possibility of equivalent urban undercounts in forthcoming censuses needs to be anticipated and avoided.


Networks Versus Need: Drivers of Urban Out-Migration in the Brazilian Amazon

Abstract

As urbanization rates rise globally, it becomes increasingly important to understand the factors associated with urban out-migration. In this paper, we examine the drivers of urban out-migration among young adults in two medium-sized cities in the Brazilian Amazon—Altamira and Santarém—focusing on the roles of social capital, human capital, and socioeconomic deprivation. Using household survey data from 1,293 individuals in the two cities, we employ an event history model to assess factors associated with migration and a binary logit model to understand factors associated with remitting behavior. We find that in Altamira, migration tends to be an individual-level opportunistic strategy fostered by extra-local family networks, while in Santarém, migration tends to be a household-level strategy driven by socioeconomic deprivation and accompanied by remittances. These results indicate that urban out-migration in Brazil is a diverse social process, and that the relative roles of extra-local networks versus economic need can function quite differently between geographically proximate but historically and socioeconomically distinct cities.


State-Level 2010 Census Coverage Rates for Young Children

Abstract

The Census Bureau’s demographic analysis (DA) shows that the net undercount rate for children aged 0–4 was 4.6 percent in the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census while adults (age 18 and older) had a net overcount rate of 0.7 percent. For the population aged 0–4, DA estimates are seen as more accurate than the U.S. Decennial Census because the estimates for this young population rely heavily on highly accurate birth certificate data. Given the relatively high net undercount rate for young children, it would be useful to examine census coverage rates for this population in subnational geographic units. In this study, the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census counts of children aged 0–4 are compared to the corresponding figures from the Census Bureau’s Vintage 2010 Population Estimates in each state. Differences between the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census count and the Vintage 2010 Population Estimates for the population aged 0–4 range from an estimated net undercount of 10.2 percent in Arizona to an estimated net overcount of 2.1 percent in North Dakota. Larger states tended to have higher net undercounts than smaller states. The ten largest states account for about 70 percent of the national net undercount of the population aged 0–4. Of all the factors examined here, the relative size of the Blacks Alone or in Combination plus Hispanics population is most highly correlated with the estimated net undercount of the population aged 0–4. Other measures that were highly correlated with net undercount rates for the population aged 0–4 were linguistic isolation, percent of adults without a high school degree, and the unemployment rate. In general, characteristics of people are more highly correlated with the net undercount rates of young children than the characteristics of housing units.


Parenthood and Leaving Home in Young Adulthood

Abstract

With increases in nonmarital fertility, the sequencing of transitions in early adulthood has become even more complex. Once the primary transition out of the parental home, marriage was first replaced by nonfamily living and cohabitation; more recently, many young adults have become parents before entering a coresidential union. Studies of leaving home, however, have not examined the role of early parenthood. Using the Young Adult Study of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 4,674), we use logistic regression to analyze parenthood both as a correlate of leaving home and as a route from the home. We find that even in mid-adolescence, becoming a parent is linked with leaving home. Coming from a more affluent family is linked with leaving home via routes that do not involve children rather than those that do, and having a warm relationship with either a mother or a father retards leaving home, particularly to nonfamily living, but is not related to parental routes out of the home.


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.


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.


Employment and Occupational Mobility among Recently Arrived Immigrants: The Spanish Case 1997–2007

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to analyse occupational mobility among immigrants in Spain in two distinct stages: (1) comparing the immigrants’ first job in Spain with their profession in the country of origin and (2) comparing their current occupational status with the occupational status of the first job they held in Spain. We focus on immigrants who arrived in Spain during the “immigration boom” that took place between 1997 and 2007, using data from the 2007 National Survey on Immigration. For our analysis, we use occupational mobility tables and multi-variable models with occupational mobility as a dependent variable. Our results show that we can better understand the initial access of migrants to the Spanish labour market from the perspective of labour market segregation: for each gender, a particular sector/occupational level (construction and cleaning, respectively) played such a dominant role that it determined almost entirely the observed mobility pattern. We find some (upward) mobility opportunities after such initial strong segregation, which increased with length of residence; however, our results suggest that, even in this case, it is mostly limited to men and associated with the construction boom that finished abruptly in 2007.