30 Jul 2016

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


Effects of Minority Status and Perceived Discrimination on Mental Health

Abstract

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


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

Abstract

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


The Effects of Allostatic Load on Racial/Ethnic Mortality Differences in the United States

Abstract

This study expands on previous findings of racial/ethnic and allostatic load (AL) associations with mortality by addressing whether differential AL levels by race/ethnicity may explain all-cause mortality differences. This study used data from the third National Health and Nutrition Survey public-use file, gathered between 1988 and 1994, with up to 18 years of mortality follow-up (n = 11,733). AL scores were calculated using a 10-biomarker algorithm based on clinically determined thresholds. Results of discrete-time hazard models suggest that AL is associated with increased mortality risks, independent of other factors, including race/ethnicity and SES. The results also suggest that the AL–mortality association is stronger for non-Hispanic blacks than for non-Hispanic whites, and that at low levels of AL observed mortality differences between non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites are non-significant. These findings suggest that mortality differences between non-Hispanic blacks and non-Hispanic whites may be the result of how early life exposure causes premature aging and increased mortality risks. More attention to resource allocation and local environments is needed to understand why non-Hispanic blacks experience premature aging that leads to differential mortality risks compared to non-Hispanic whites.


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

Abstract

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


Challenges in Measuring and Studying Multipartnered Fertility in American Survey Data

Abstract

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


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

Abstract

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


Internal and International Migration Across the Urban Hierarchy in Albania

Abstract

The interactions between the processes of urbanization and international migration in less developed and transition countries have important repercussions for socioeconomic development, but are not well understood. Based on the retrospective data from the Albanian Living Standards Measurement Survey 2008, we first assess the geography of migration in terms of the rural–urban continuum, the urban hierarchy and the outside world since 1990. We then investigate the spatio-temporal diffusion of rural-to-urban and international movements using survival models. Results reveal an immediate onset of large-scale rural exodus, despite the post-communist crisis. Internal migrants mainly moved to the capital, bypassing secondary cities, and were predominantly female. Initially, international migrants were primarily men who tended to originate from the main urban agglomerations. The diffusion of opportunities to emigrate down the urban hierarchy and across the sexes then redirected the rural exodus abroad, despite domestic economic development. This evolution in population mobility is related to the gendered patterns and interlinkages of the two flows, as well as to rising inequalities within the urban hierarchy.


Understanding Hypergamous Marriages of Chinese Rural Women

Abstract

In China, hypergamy is a socially desirable marriage but an understudied topic. Less has been written on how personal traits and structural factors are intertwined to shape such marriage. Using national-survey data and employing a binary endogenous regressor probit model, this paper investigates three forms of hypergamous marriages: women marrying men from more prosperous families, women marrying men who are more economically established, and women marrying men with an urban hukou. We assess the interaction of ascribed and achieved personal traits with institutional factors in explaining these upward marriages. Particular attention is paid to the role of hukou status in the making of hypergamy. Our results suggest that most of rural women have to stick to endogamy within their socioeconomic category. Ascribed and achieved traits work on marital outcomes in different ways in the changing socioeconomic contexts, mediated by the endogeneity of hukou status conversion. The likelihood of hypergamous marriages of Chinese women is largely constrained by the role of hukou status.


Type of Health Facility and Utilization of Antenatal Care Services Among Ghanaian Women

Abstract

This study examined if differences exist in the number and timing of antenatal care (ANC) visits for users of public and private health care facilities in Ghana. Also, the study explored if such variations could be attributed to health-provider factors or the selective socioeconomic characteristics of the users. Data were drawn from the recently collected Ghana Demographic and Health Survey and from a representative sample of t 2135 women who attended antenatal care in a health facility 6 months preceding the survey. Random-effects Poisson and logit models were employed for analysis. Results showed statistically significant differences between users of private and public health facilities for number of ANC visits, but not for the timing of such visits. Although some health-provider factors were significantly associated with ANC visits, these factors did not explain why users of private health facilities had significantly higher number of ANC visits than users of public health facilities. Differences in ANC visits for both private and public health facilities were rather explained by the selective socioeconomic characteristics of the users, especially as wealthy and educated women patronized private health care than poorer and uneducated women. The study concludes that Ghanaian women attending private health facilities may not have improved access to antenatal care compared to those attending public health facilities, and adds to the emerging body of literature that questions private health care in sub-Saharan Africa as more effective than public health care.


Old Habits Die Hard? Lingering Son Preference in an Era of Normalizing Sex Ratios at Birth in South Korea

Abstract

South Korea was among the first countries to report both an abnormally high sex ratio at birth (SRB) and its subsequent normalization. We examine the role of son preference in driving fertility intentions during a period of declining SRB and consider the contribution of individual characteristics and broader social context to explaining changes in intentions. We employ data from the National Survey on Fertility, Family Health and Welfare that span 1991–2012. We find that reported son preference declined to a great extent but remained substantial by the end of the observation period, and that the intention to have a third child still differed by sex of existing children. Change in individual-level factors does not explain the decline in son preference, suggesting that broad social changes were also important. This study provides a better understanding of how son preference evolves in the post-transitional context of very low fertility.


Diverging Demography: Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Contributions to U.S. Population Redistribution and Diversity

Abstract

The substantial growth and geographic dispersion of Hispanics is among the most important demographic trends in recent U.S. demographic history. Our county-level study examines how widespread Hispanic natural increase and net migration has combined with the demographic change among non-Hispanics to produce an increasingly diverse population. This paper uses U.S. Census Bureau data and special tabulations of race/ethnic specific births and deaths from NCHS to highlight the demographic role of Hispanics as an engine of new county population growth and ethnoracial diversity across the U.S. landscape. It highlights key demographic processes—natural increase and net migration—that accounted for 1990–2010 changes in the absolute and relative sizes of the Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations. Hispanics accounted for the majority of all U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2010. Yet, Hispanics represented only 16 % of the U.S. population in 2010. Most previous research has focused on Hispanic immigration; here, we examine how natural increase and net migration among both the Hispanic and non-Hispanic population contribute to the nation’s growing diversity. Indeed, the demographic impact of rapid Hispanic growth has been reinforced by minimal white population growth due to low fertility, fewer women of reproductive age and growing mortality among the aging white population America’s burgeoning Hispanic population has left a large demographic footprint that is magnified by low and declining fertility and increasing mortality among America’s aging non-Hispanic population.


Caregiver Decision-Making: Household Response to Child Illness in Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract

We draw upon a framework outlining household recognition and response to child illness proposed by Colvin et al. (Soc Sci Med 86:66–78, 2013) to examine factors predictive of treatment sought for a recent child illness. In particular, we model whether no treatment, middle layer treatment (traditional healer, pharmacy, community health worker, etc.), or biomedical treatment was sought for recent episodes of diarrhea, fever, or cough. Based on multinomial, multi-level analyses of Demographic and Health Surveys from 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we determine that if women have no say in their own healthcare, they are unlikely to seek treatment in response to child illness. We find that women in sub-Saharan Africa need healthcare knowledge, the ability to make healthcare decisions, as well as resources to negotiate cost and travel, in order to access biomedical treatment. Past experience with medical services such as prenatal care and a skilled birth attendant also increases the odds that biomedical treatment for child illness is sought. We conclude that caregiver decision-making in response to child illness within households is critical to reducing child morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.


Exploring New Life Course Patterns of Mother’s Continuing Secondary and College Education

Abstract

A mounting body of evidence suggests that the life course sequence that once defined contemporary US women’s lives is changing as an increasing number of women now complete their education after the transition to motherhood. Despite such evidence, we know little about this changing pattern of life course events for many US women. The aim of this study, therefore, is to produce population-based estimates that describe the prevalence of mothers’ school reentry and secondary and college degree attainment, the timing of women’s post-childbearing education vis-à-vis their transition into motherhood, and the characteristics of mothers who pursue additional schooling. To do so, the study draws on data from a nationally representative cohort of US women participating in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 4925) and descriptive and event-history techniques. Findings suggest that a substantial proportion of mothers (17 %) completed additional education after the transition to motherhood, especially mothers who had the lowest levels of education at their time of first birth (high school dropouts) (43 %). These mothers, who overwhelmingly earned high school degrees/GEDs, were most likely to do so within 5 years of giving birth, while mothers pursuing higher levels were more likely to do so when children were older. Mothers who pursued schooling after the transition to motherhood were remarkably more disadvantaged than women who followed the traditional sequencing of life course events. Compared to women who had the same education upon being mothers, they were also younger, more often poor, and had greater job instability but higher cognitive test scores.


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

Abstract

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


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

Abstract

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


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

Abstract

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


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

Abstract

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


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


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

Abstract

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


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

Abstract

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