26 Apr 2015

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


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.


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.


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).


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.


Duty, Honor, Country, Disparity: Race/Ethnic Differences in Health and Disability Among Male Veterans

Abstract

Given their unique occupational hazards and sizable population, military veterans are an important population for the study of health. Yet, veterans are by no means homogeneous, and there are unanswered questions regarding the extent of, and explanations for, racial and ethnic differences in veterans’ health. Using the 2010 National Survey of Veterans, we first documented race/ethnic differences in self-rated health and limitations in activities of daily living among male veterans aged 30–84. Second, we examined potential explanations for the disparities, including socioeconomic and behavioral differences, as well as differences in specific military experiences. We found that Black, Hispanic, and other/multiple race veterans reported much worse health than White veterans. Using progressively adjusted regression models, we uncovered that the poorer self-rated health and higher levels of activity limitations among minority veterans compared to Whites were partially explained by differences in their socioeconomic status and by their military experiences. Minority veterans are a vulnerable population for poor health; future research and policy efforts should attempt to better understand and ameliorate their health disadvantages relative to White veterans.


Foiled Aspirations: The Influence of Unauthorized Status on the Educational Expectations of Latino Immigrant Youth

Abstract

Latino immigrant adolescents have the highest high school dropout rates of any race-ethnic or nativity group in the United States. One potential reason for high dropout rates among Latino immigrant youth is that many are unauthorized entrants. These unauthorized Latino immigrant youth have few opportunities to attend college, and, as they become aware of barriers to their educational progress and employment, they may lower their educational expectations. Using data from the Latino adolescent migration, health, and adaptation project (N = 275), we examine the association of unauthorized entry into the U.S. with the educational expectations of Latino immigrant youth. We find that adolescents entering the U.S. without authorization have lower educational expectations than those who enter with authorization. These differences in their expectations persist after controlling for differences in their pre-migration, migration, and post-migration experiences. Policies and programs that reduce barriers to higher education and labor market opportunities can potentially help to foster higher educational expectations among unauthorized immigrant youth and may promote their high school completion.


Female Migration, Cultural Context, and Son Preference in Rural China

Abstract

How does female out-migration reconfigure gender values surrounding son preference in origin communities? We propose that the feminization of migration has the potential to infuse origin communities with economic and ideational changes that may challenge son preference. Rural China provides an interesting setting, both because its unprecedented labor out-migration has increasingly included women and because of its persistent son preference. Using data from rural China and instrumental variable regressions to adjust for potential endogeneity bias, this study shows that out-migration of women, but not of men, attenuates son preference among those in origin communities. The role of female out-migration transcends families with direct ties to migration and extends to the entire village. However, cultural context and family positions within that context condition the role of female migration: specifically, the preferences of individuals in families and villages embedded in strong patrilineal cultural practices are less likely to be shaped by female out-migration.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.