21 Dec 2014

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Gender Equity, Opportunity Costs of Parenthood, and Educational Differences in Unintended First Births: Insights from Japan

Abstract

We examine educational differences in the intendedness of first births in Japan using data from a nationally representative survey of married women (N = 2,373). We begin by describing plausible scenarios for a negative, null, and positive educational gradient in unintended first births. In contrast to well-established results from the U.S., we find evidence of a positive educational gradient in Japan. Net of basic demographic controls, university graduates are more likely than less-educated women to report first births as unintended. This pattern is consistent with a scenario emphasizing the high opportunity costs of motherhood in countries such as Japan where growing opportunities for women in employment and other domains of public life have not been accompanied by changes in the highly asymmetric roles of men and women within the family. We discuss potential implications of this suggestive finding for other low-fertility settings.


Developmental Idealism and Cultural Models of the Family in Malawi

Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which developmental idealism has been disseminated in Malawi. Developmental idealism is a set of beliefs and values about development and the relationships between development and family structures and behavior. Developmental idealism states that attributes of societies and families defined as modern are better than attributes defined as traditional, that modern societies help produce modern families, that modern families facilitate the achievement of modern societies, and that the future will bring family change in the direction of modernity. Previous research has demonstrated that knowledge of developmental idealism is widespread in many places around the world, but provides little systematic data about it in sub-Saharan Africa or how knowledge of it is associated with certain demographic characteristics in that region. In this paper, we address this issue by examining whether ordinary people in two settings in Malawi, a sub-Saharan African country, have received and understood messages that are intended to associate development with certain types of family forms and family behaviors. We then examine associations between demographic characteristics and developmental idealism to investigate possible mechanisms linking global discourse about development to the grassroots. We analyze data collected in face-to-face surveys from two samples of Malawian men in 2009 and 2010, one rural, the other in a low-to-medium income neighborhood of a city. Our analysis of these survey data shows considerable evidence that many developmental idealism beliefs have been spread in that country and that education has positive effects on beliefs in the association between development and family attributes. We also find higher levels of developmental idealism awareness in the urban sample than we do in the rural sample, but once dissimilarities in education and wealth between the two samples are controlled, awareness levels no longer differed between urban and rural respondents. We explore how these beliefs intersect with longstanding local values and beliefs in Malawi.


Occupational Stratification of Hispanics, Whites, and Blacks in Southern Rural Destinations: A Quantitative Analysis

Abstract

Since the 1990s, many rural communities in the Southern US have experienced an unprecedented influx of Latino migrants. Some research undertaken on such “new Hispanic destinations” suggests that the newcomers tend to assume low-status jobs shunned by non-Hispanic residents and thus form a segmented labor market, but other work indicates that they heavily compete with natives (particularly African Americans) for less-skilled positions. Drawing on data from the 2000 census and 2009–2011 American Community Survey, this paper examines patterns of occupational stratification between Latino, white, and black men in the rural South to identify whether Hispanic economic relations in the area are better characterized by segmentation or competition. Specifically, occupational dissimilarity indexes and status scores are calculated to map the groups’ relative economic positions in the rural portions of five Southeastern states home to fast-growing nonmetro Latino populations: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Consistent with the segmentation hypothesis, the results reveal that Latinos are highly occupationally dissimilar from non-Hispanic whites and blacks and rank significantly below both in mean occupational status. Standardization of the stratification measures shows that Hispanics’ labor market isolation and disadvantage can be substantially accounted for by their lower average levels of human capital and US citizenship.


Religious Affiliation and Fertility in a Sub-Saharan Context: Dynamic and Lifetime Perspectives

Abstract

We use uniquely detailed data from a predominantly Christian high-fertility area in Mozambique to examine denominational differentials in fertility from two complementary perspectives—dynamic and cumulative. First, we use event-history analysis to predict yearly risks of birth from denominational affiliation. Then, we employ Poisson regression to model the association between the number of children ever born and share of reproductive life spent in particular denominations or outside organized religion. Both approaches detect a significant increase in fertility associated with membership in a particular type of African-initiated churches which is characterized by strong organizational identity, rigid hierarchy, and insular corporate culture. Membership in the Catholic Church is also associated with elevated completed fertility. We relate these results to extant theoretical perspectives on the relationship between religion and fertility by stressing the interplay between ideological, social, and organizational characteristics of different types of churches and situate our findings within the context of fertility transition and religious demographics in Mozambique and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.


Recession and Divorce in the United States, 2008–2011

Abstract

Recession may increase divorce through a stress mechanism, or reduce divorce by exacerbating cost barriers or strengthening family bonds. After establishing an individual-level model predicting US women’s divorce, the paper tests period effects, and whether unemployment and foreclosures are associated with the odds of divorce using the 2008–2011 American Community Survey. Results show a downward spike in the divorce rate after 2008, almost recovering to the expected level by 2011, which suggests a negative recession effect. On the other hand, state foreclosure rates are positively associated with the odds of divorce with individual controls, although this effect is not significant when state fixed effects are introduced. State unemployment rates show no effect on odds of divorce. Future research will have to determine why national divorce odds fell during the recession, while state-level economic indicators were not strongly associated with divorce. Exploratory analysis which shows unemployment decreasing divorce odds for those with college degrees, while foreclosures have the opposite effect, provide one possible avenue for such research.


Intergenerational Transmission of Age at First Birth in the United States: Evidence from Multiple Surveys

Abstract

It is well established that the timing of childbearing is transmitted from parents to children in the United States. However, little is known about how the intergenerational link has changed over time and under structural and ideological transformations associated with fertility behaviors. This study first considers changes across two birth cohorts from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) in the extent to which parents’ age at first birth is transmitted to their children. The first cohort includes individuals born during the late 1950s through the early 1960s (NLSY79), while the second includes individuals born in the early 1980s (NLSY97). Results from discrete-time event history analyses indicate that the intergenerational transmission of age at first birth significantly increased for both daughters and sons. These results were confirmed by analyses of data from three cycles of the National Survey of Family Growth spanning the same time period. Over this period, age at first childbirth became increasingly younger for children born to teenage mothers and increasingly older for those born to mothers who began parenthood after age 25. These patterns have important implications for the reproductive polarization hypothesis.