25 May 2015

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Effect of Incarceration on Midlife Health: A Life-Course Approach

Abstract

A significant association between incarceration and health is well established, but whether this association depends on the timing of incarceration is not known. Men who experience incarceration during the transition to adulthood are more likely to have their educational attainment and transition into the work force disrupted relative to others who are never incarcerated and to those who are first incarcerated in adulthood. Thus, I investigate whether age at first incarceration conditions the relationship between incarceration and men’s health, including general and mental health in midlife. I also examine whether the disadvantaged socioeconomic status and health behavior of ex-inmates function as a main mechanism explaining the relationship between incarceration and health. Using propensity score–weighted regressions with data from the NLSY79. I find that men with a first incarceration during the transition to adulthood (at ages 18–24) are less likely to be in good self-reported general and mental health than otherwise similar men who have never been incarcerated. Results suggest that these negative health conditions among ex-inmates are explained mostly by socioeconomic status such as educational attainment and employment. On the other hand, men with an incarceration experience later in adulthood (at ages 25–40) are not less likely to be in good general and mental health compared to otherwise similar men who have never been incarcerated. Overall, the results from this study encourage a life course approach to understanding the relationship between incarceration and health.


Loans and Leaving: Migration and the Expansion of Microcredit in Cambodia

Abstract

Over the last decade, the expansion of microfinance institutions (MFIs) has dramatically shifted the availability of credit across the developing world. This recent development provides an opportunity to examine the relationship between household labor migration and access to and use of formal credit. Both theories of migration and the expectations of formal credit providers have suggested that labor migration and credit are substitute solutions to the demand for capital in the developing world, with the implication that greater access to formal financial services may stem migration out of rural places. Using household survey data from Cambodia, an MFI-saturated country, we find that households using formal credit and households with greater access to formal credit are more likely to have labor migrants than households without access. This association persists across size of loan, purpose of loan, remittances behavior, and for domestic migrations. These findings complicate our understanding of the relationship between credit and migration, and call for a greater recognition of the importance of context in framing migration behavior.


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.


Stress and Maternal Postpartum Depression: The Importance of Stress Type and Timing

Abstract

Interest in identifying social risk factors for maternal postpartum depression has increased, with a growing emphasis placed on stress exposure. Despite increased interest, questions about the importance of lifetime stress exposure relative to stress surrounding childbirth, along with the importance of different types of stressful events, remain unanswered. The stress process model has gained prominence as a guiding framework for examining stress type and timing in studies of major depression and poor pregnancy outcomes, suggesting that this framework has the potential to advance our understanding of the relationship between stress exposure and depressive symptoms in postpartum women. Using in-person interviews and medical record data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study (N = 4362), we draw on a stress process framework to examine: (1) whether lifetime acute stress exposure prior to pregnancy and birth is a risk factor for postpartum depression net of more proximate acute stressors occurring after pregnancy and birth, and (2) which types of stress (acute, chronic) are most salient for this outcome. Our results show that both acute stressors and chronic strains are independently associated with postpartum depression and acute stressors occurring prior to pregnancy and birth have long-lasting effects on postpartum mental health even when more proximate acute stressors are considered. Our findings underscore the need to more fully capture stressors and strains occurring throughout a woman’s life course with regard to postpartum depression, and suggest the importance of rooting postpartum research and screening in a stress process framework.


Family Resources in Two Generations and School Readiness Among Children of Teen Parents

Abstract

Overall, children born to teen parents experience disadvantaged cognitive achievement at school entry compared with children born to older parents. However, within this population, there is variation, with a significant fraction of teen parents’ children acquiring adequate preparation for school entry during early childhood. We ask whether the family background of teen parents explains this variation. We use data on children born to teen mothers from three waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (N ~ 700) to study the association of family background with children’s standardized reading and mathematics achievement scores at kindergarten entry. When neither maternal grandparent has completed high school, children’s scores on standardized assessments of math and reading achievement are one-quarter to one-third of a standard deviation lower compared with families where at least one grandparent finished high school. This association is net of teen mothers’ own socioeconomic status in the year prior to children’s school entry.


Relationship Involvement Among Young Adults: Are Asian American Men an Exceptional Case?

Abstract

Asian American men and women have been largely neglected in previous studies of romantic relationship formation and status. Using data from the first and fourth waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we examine romantic and sexual involvement among young adults, most of whom were between the ages of 25 and 32 (N = 11,555). Drawing from explanations that focus on structural and cultural elements as well as racial hierarchies, we examine the factors that promote and impede involvement in romantic/sexual relationships. We use logistic regression to model current involvement of men and women separately and find, with the exception of Filipino men, Asian men are significantly less likely than white men to be currently involved with a romantic partner, even after controlling for a wide array of characteristics. Our results suggest that the racial hierarchy framework best explains lower likelihood of involvement among Asian American men.


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.


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.


Portability of Human Capital and Immigrant Overeducation in Spain

Abstract

The literature on immigrant assimilation highlights the imperfect portability of the human capital acquired by immigrants in their country of origin, which accounts for their low levels of labor market integration upon arrival in the new country, as well as their initially wide earnings gap. Recent studies have examined this issue from the perspective of overeducation. This study analyzes the portability of immigrants’ human capital into the Spanish job market according to their geographic origin. Spain’s immigrants originate from a highly varied range of countries, with origins as diverse as Latin America, the Maghreb, and Eastern Europe. Here, the use of public microdata files from the Spanish Census permits us to identify up to six regions of immigrant origin comprising developed countries and developing economies, distinguishing, furthermore, different regions of origin on the basis of their language and level of development. The results obtained indicate differing degrees of transferability of human capital depending on geographic origin, with transferability being greater for immigrants from countries that are highly developed or which have a similar culture or language and lower for those from developing countries and with more distant cultures. As an immigrant’s period of residence in Spain is prolonged, integration does take place but the pace is slow (between 7 and 9 years).


Teenage Cohabitation, Marriage, and Childbearing

Abstract

Cohabitation is an integral part of family research; however, little work examines cohabitation among teenagers or links between cohabitation and teenage childbearing. Drawing on the National Survey of Family Growth (2006–10), we examine family formation activities (i.e., cohabitation, marriage, and childbearing) of 3,945 15–19 year old women from the mid 1990s through 2010. One-third (34 %) of teenagers cohabit, marry, or have a child. Teenage cohabitation and marriage are both positively associated with higher odds of having a child. The vast majority of single pregnant teenagers do not form a union before the birth of their child; only 22 % cohabit and 5 % marry. Yet most single pregnant teenagers eventually cohabit, 59 % did so by the child’s third birthday and about 9 % marry. Cohabitation is an important part of the landscape of the adolescent years, and many teenage mothers described as “single mothers” are actually in cohabiting relationships.


Earnings of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Paid Workers in Canadian Gateway and Non-gateway Metropolises

Abstract

A growing number of immigrants are living in non-gateway metropolises. In this paper, drawing from the 2006 Canadian census, we explore and compare the earnings of immigrants in Canadian gateway and non-gateway metropolises. We differentiate entrepreneurs and paid workers in the analysis. In addition, we compare white and non-white immigrants in gateway and non-gateway metropolises. We employ an endogenous switching regression model to address the issue of the “selectivity” of immigrants settling in gateway and non-gateway metropolises. Findings show that the earnings of immigrants always are lower in gateway metropolises than in non-gateway metropolises. Separate analyses for entrepreneurs and paid workers show the same pattern. We also find that there is a significant difference in the earnings of white and non-white immigrants in gateway metropolises only, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic background. In addition, recency of arrival and language ability are not related to earnings for those working in non-gateway metropolises. The implications of the findings are discussed.


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.


Population Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case of Both Normative and Coercive Ties to the World Polity

Abstract

During the 1980s and 1990s, two-thirds of sub-Saharan African countries adopted national population policies to reduce population growth. Based on multivariate statistical analysis, I show that countries with more ties to the world polity were more likely to adopt population policies. In order to refine world polity theory, however, I distinguish between normative and coercive ties to the world polity. I show that ties to the world polity via international nongovernmental organizations became predictive of population policy adoption only after the 1994 United Nations International Conference on Population and Development institutionalized reproductive health as a global norm to which countries could show adherence through population policies. Ties to the World Bank in the form of indebtedness, presumed to be coercive, were associated with population policy adoption throughout the time period observed. Gross domestic product per capita, democracy, and religion also all predicted population policy adoption. The case of population policy adoption in sub-Saharan Africa thus demonstrates that ties to organizations likely to exert normative pressure are most influential when something about international norms is at stake, while ties to organizations with coercive capacity matter regardless of time, but may be easier for wealthier countries to resist.