24 Jun 2017

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


An Alternative to Fixed Transition Probabilities for the Projection of Interprovincial Migration in Canada

Abstract

Internal migration plays a critical role in subnational population projections. The multiregional model is often seen as a gold standard, for its capacity to project several interconnected regions simultaneously and coherently. However, undesirable effects may occur when assumptions of constant transition probabilities are used. This paper investigates these limits, explores a few solutions provided in the literature and describes the alternative methodology used by Statistics Canada in its most recent edition of population projections for the Canadian provinces and territories. Among other things, the new method is shown to improve the consistency between internal migration assumptions and results and to facilitate the projection of the uncertainty associated with this component.


The Future Labor Force of an Aging Taiwan: The Importance of Education and Female Labor Supply

Abstract

This study uses multi-state cohort component projections and detailed vital statistics data to project the future Taiwanese population by age, sex, and education up to 2050. These are the first education-specific population projections for Taiwan, and they reveal how young highly educated cohorts during the next decades will replace older cohorts with lower levels of educational attainment. The results of the population projections enter our estimation of the future composition of the Taiwanese labor force. Incorporating education as an extra dimension in labor force projections allows us to make inferences about the quality of future labor supply in a rapidly aging Taiwan and the leverage of expanding economic activity across the life course, particularly of women. At present, women’s economic activity above age 25 in Taiwan is significantly lower than men’s and also much lower than women's in Western developed nations. Some of the expected adverse economic consequences of population aging can likely be alleviated by having a more educated and consequently more productive labor force. The overall results and conclusions of our study, though based on the Taiwanese context, apply to other Asian economies with rapidly aging populations and currently comparatively low levels of female labor force participation as well.


Erratum to: Life Course Changes in Smoking by Gender and Education: A Cohort Comparison Across France and the United States


Maternal Household Decision-Making Autonomy and Adolescent Education in Honduras

Abstract

Maternal decision-making autonomy has been linked to positive outcomes for children’s health and well-being early in life in low- and middle-income countries throughout the world. However, there is a dearth of research examining if and how maternal autonomy continues to influence children’s outcomes into adolescence and whether it impacts other domains of children’s lives beyond health, such as their education. The goal of this study was to determine whether high maternal decision-making was associated with school enrollment for secondary school-aged youth in Honduras. Further, we aimed to assess whether the relationships between maternal autonomy and school enrollment varied by adolescents’ environmental contexts and individual characteristics such as gender. Our analytical sample included 6579 adolescents ages 12–16 living with their mothers from the Honduran Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2011–2012. We used stepwise logistic regression models to investigate the association between maternal household decision-making autonomy and adolescents’ school enrollment. Our findings suggest that adolescents, especially girls, benefit from their mothers’ high decision-making autonomy. Findings suggest that maternal decision-making autonomy promotes adolescents’ school enrollment above and beyond other maternal, household, and regional influences.


Life Course Changes in Smoking by Gender and Education: A Cohort Comparison Across France and the United States

Abstract

Widening of educational disparities and a narrowing female advantage in mortality stem in good part from disparities in smoking. The changes in smoking and mortality disparities across cohorts and countries have been explained by an epidemic model of cigarette use but are also related to life course changes. To better describe and understand changing disparities over the life course, we compare age patterns of smoking in three cohorts and two nations (France and the US) using smoking history measures from the 2010 French health barometer (N = 20,940) and the 2010 US National Health Interview Survey Sample Adult File (N = 20,444). The results demonstrate statistically significant widening of gender and educational differences from adolescence to early and middle adulthood, thus accentuating the disparities already emerging during adolescence. In addition, the widening disparities over the life course have been changing across cohorts: age differences in educational disparities have grown in recent cohorts (especially in France), while age differences in gender disparities have narrowed. The findings highlight the multiple sources of inequality in smoking and health in high-income nations.


Determinants of Mexican-Origin Dropout: The Roles of Mexican Latino/a Destinations and Immigrant Generation

Abstract

Adolescents of Mexican origin have higher than average school dropout rates, but the risk of school non-enrollment among this subgroup varies substantially across geographic areas. This study conducts a multilevel logistic regression analysis of data from the 2005–2009 American Community Survey to evaluate whether spatial heterogeneity in school non-enrollment rates among Mexican-origin youth (n = 71,269) can be attributed to the histories of states and local areas as Mexican Latino/a receiving gateways. This study also determines whether the association between new destinations and school non-enrollment varies within the Mexican-origin population by nativity and duration of residence. Net of background controls, the risk of non-enrollment does not differ significantly between Mexican-origin youth living in states that are newer Mexican Latino/a gateways versus those in more established destinations, in part because Mexican-origin school non-enrollment rates are heterogeneous across newer destination states. At the more local Public Use Microdata Area level, however, Mexican-origin youth in newer gateways have a higher risk of non-enrollment than those in established destinations, revealing the importance of local-level contexts as venues for integration. The disparity in non-enrollment between Mexican-origin youth in new versus established destination PUMAs is apparent for all generational groups, but is widest among 1.25-generation adolescents who arrived in the country as teenagers, suggesting that local new destinations are particularly ill-equipped to deal with the educational needs of migrant newcomers.


Cancer Screening Utilization Among U.S. Women: How Mammogram and Pap Test Use Varies Among Heterosexual, Lesbian, and Bisexual Women

Abstract

Existing research on cancer screening utilization among sexual minority women in the U.S. has mostly relied on non-random samples that combine lesbian and bisexual women into a single group. We respond to these limitations by examining the relationship between sexual orientation and cancer screening among a sample of U.S. women from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Our analytic sample includes 2273 lesbian, 1689 bisexual, and 174,839 heterosexual women interviewed in 15 U.S. states between 2000 and 2010. We examine two cancer screening measures: timely mammogram and pap tests, defined as having had a mammogram in the past 2 years for women aged 40 and older, and having had a pap test in the past 3 years for women aged 21–65. For mammogram, results showed that rates of timely use did not significantly differ by sexual orientation. However, lesbian and bisexual women report significantly lower rates of timely pap testing than heterosexual women. Logistic regression results on timely pap testing showed that lower pap test use for bisexual women is primarily driven by their poorer socioeconomic status relative to heterosexual women, while the significantly lower odds of timely pap testing for lesbian women were unaffected by control measures. Better understanding of cancer screening utilization disparities among lesbian and bisexual women is necessary to address morbidity and mortality disparities by sexual orientation.


Comparing Veteran and Non-veteran Racial Disparities in Mid-life Health and Well-being

Abstract

Using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 data on mid-life physical health, mental health, and self-esteem, I examine inter- and intra-racial disparities in health and well-being among veteran and non-veteran men (N = 2440). After controlling for selectivity into the military via propensity weighting, I find that black veterans have higher self-esteem than white veterans and comparable black non-veterans, but white veterans have similar mid-life self-esteem as their non-veteran counterparts. I find no evidence of disparities in health for depressive symptoms and self-rated health after taking selection into military service into account. The results suggest that aspects of military service may increase blacks’ self-esteem, possibly due to less discrimination and more opportunity.


Interracial Marriage and Self-Reported Health of Whites and Blacks in the United States

Abstract

This study examines the self-reported health of 180,291 married non-Hispanic blacks and whites in interracial versus endogamous marriages. Data are from the National Health Interview Survey pooled over the period 1997–2013. The results from ordinal logistic regressions show that non-Hispanic whites intermarried with non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites intermarried with non-Hispanic other races, and non-Hispanic white women with Hispanic husbands report significantly poorer health than their endogamous counterparts. Furthermore, non-Hispanic whites with non-Hispanic black spouses also fare worse than their interracially married peers with Hispanic spouses. In contrast, the self-reported health of married non-Hispanic blacks shows no significant difference between the interracially and the endogamously married. Our findings highlight the theoretical significance of spousal characteristics and couple-level contexts in the household production of health.


Discrimination, Sleep, and Stress Reactivity: Pathways to African American-White Cardiometabolic Risk Inequities

Abstract

This review provides a model explicating two related physiologic and behavioral pathways through which the chronic daily stress of the expectation and experience of discrimination exposure can shape life course cardiometabolic risk trajectories: sleep and stress reactivity. We argue that these two pathways work together jointly to shape African American-White disparities in cardiometabolic morbidities. The body’s ongoing anticipation of experiencing racism-related stressors disrupts sleep, a behavior highly responsive to stress reactivity, which is also elevated during stressful conditions. The constant feedback between sleep disruption and the body’s stress response can lead to higher allostatic load and disproportionate exposure to stress-related illness among African Americans earlier in their life course.


Child Home Care Allowance and the Transition to Second- and Third-Order Births in Finland

Abstract

Using register data from the Finnish Census Panel, this paper studies the relationship between the use of the child home care allowance and second and third births among women aged 20–44 in Finland during the period 1992–2007. Discrete-time event-history analysis is applied to examine (i) whether women taking up the child home care allowance while their previous child was under the age of 3 have a higher risk to proceed to subsequent childbearing, (ii) whether these women proceed to a further birth more quickly, and (iii) whether the risk to proceed to a subsequent birth is related to educational level. The results show that women using the allowance have a higher risk of having a second and a third birth than women not using it. The risk of having a second birth is higher than that of having a third birth. Also, women using the allowance get their subsequent child sooner than women not using the allowance. No large educational differences in the effect of allowance use are found for second or third births.


Majority Rules: Gender Composition and Sexual Norms and Behavior in High Schools

Abstract

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examine the relationship between the gender composition of high schools and sexual ideals, attitudes, and behaviors reported by 12,617 students. Theory predicts that a surplus of females in a dating market gives males greater bargaining power to achieve their underlying preference for avoiding committed relationships and engaging in casual sex. We find relationships between the gender composition of a high school and sexual norms and behaviors that depart from this theoretical prediction: In high schools in which girls outnumber boys, students report a less sexually permissive normative climate and girls report less casual sex compared with their counterparts at schools in which boys outnumber girls. Our results inform predictions about social consequences following from the feminization of school institutions.


Neighborhood Priority or Desegregation Plans? A Spatial Analysis of Voting on San Francisco’s Student Assignment System

Abstract

In 2011, San Francisco held an unprecedented citywide vote on its public schools’ student assignment policy. Proposition H provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the public’s desire for “neighborhood schools,” as compared to their interest in maintaining districtwide desegregation efforts. This paper takes the approach of applying geographic information system tools and regression analysis to understand the relationships between neighborhood, race, income, and attitudes toward student assignment systems. By comparing the election results with demographics and school quality data, we identify patterns of support for the narrowly defeated proposition. Support for a shift toward neighborhood-based schools was higher in census tracts with high-performing schools, more school age children, high median income, or a large fraction of foreign-born residents, and lower in tracts with a high percentage of Latinos. The shifting race- and class-based politics of the city foreshadow expected demographic shifts in the US.


J-Curve? A Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression of Parity and Parental Mortality

Abstract

Research suggests that parity and parental health and mortality are associated significantly, although the pattern of association varies across studies. Studies ascribe long-term poor health (and mortality) to either low or high parity, and some studies show that both low and high parity increase the risk of adverse health for parents (i.e., forming a “J-shaped curve”). While a recent meta-analysis (Zeng et al., Sci Rep 6:19351, 2016) has partially addressed this gap in the literature, the present study further extends the literature by using a methodology that allows for more robust control of study heterogeneity and potential confounders. Using data on 223 measures of relative mortality risk from 37 studies, from samples gathered after 1945 from developed nations, meta-analysis and meta-regression (weighted linear regression) results show a nonlinear association (J-shaped curve) between parity and all-cause parental mortality, though the strength of the association varies by both sex and cohort. The results also suggest that the mortality hazard is partially explained by health selection effects.


Is the Pro-Poor Premium Exemption Policy of Ghana’s NHIS Reducing Disparities Among the Elderly?

Abstract

Under the act that established the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), persons 70 years of age or above are automatically enrolled in the scheme and therefore can access health services free at the point of use. This suggests that the elderly who are unable to afford the premiums of private health insurance can enrol in the NHIS thereby eliminating the possibility of disparities in health insurance coverage. Notwithstanding, few studies have examined health insurance coverage among the elderly in Ghana. The lack of studies on the elderly in Ghana may be due to limited data on this important demographic group. Using data from the Study on Global Ageing and Health and applying logit models, this paper investigates whether the pro-poor exemption policy is eliminating disparities among the elderly aged 70 years and older. The results show that disparities in insurance coverage among the elderly are based on respondents’ socio-economic circumstances, mainly their wealth status. The study underscores the need for eliminating health access disparities among the elderly and suggests that the current premium exemptions alone may not be the solution to eliminating disparities in health insurance coverage among the elderly.


Unemployment and Immigrant Receptivity Climate in Established and Newly Emerging Destination Areas

Abstract

This study examines whether the receptivity climate toward immigrants varies across traditional, new, and emerging Hispanic immigrant destinations in the U.S. and whether that climate is related to local unemployment rates and to the job-skill level of immigrants who settle in these places. We utilize unique, newly collected data to measure local labor market area immigrant receptivity climate based on content analysis of a random sample of all articles addressing immigrants/immigration which were published by local area newspapers from 1995 to 2010. The descriptive data show considerable diversity in local and regional immigrant receptivity patterns across the 380 U.S. labor market areas. Using annual labor market-specific unemployment rates, decadal measures of the educational attainment of immigrants and natives in the labor market area, and an annual summary measure of the immigrant receptivity climate, controlling for theoretically relevant labor market contextual characteristics, results from our regression models show that the immigrant receptivity climate is more negative where unemployment rates are higher. However, this relationship is evident only for new and non-destination areas compared with established immigrant destinations when control variables are considered. While a higher skill level of immigrants (a labor competition argument) is related to less negativity toward them, it does not explain the relationship between unemployment and immigrant receptivity climate. Overall, a high skill level of natives is the better explanation for a more positive immigrant receptivity climate.


Changing Australia’s Age Pension Qualification Age: Modelling Differential Effects by Race

Abstract

Increasing the age at which people are eligible for the age pension is one mechanism by which governments of developed nations are attempting to manage increasing costs associated with population ageing. In Australia, there are a number of groups within the population who may be affected in unintended ways by increasing the eligibility age to 70 years by the year 2035, as was proposed in the 2014 Federal Budget. Most notably, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians currently with an average at birth life expectancy of 69.1 years for males and 73.7 years for females, nearly 11 years less than non-Indigenous Australians, may be the most affected. This study explores the consequences of the proposed future amendments to the age pension eligibility age, using projections of the likely age structures of future populations to estimate expected years of life remaining after reaching pension age. Despite projected improvements for Indigenous life expectancies, increasing the pension eligibility age under the schedule proposed in the policy would significantly reduce the expected years in post pension age, thus countering some of the anticipated benefits flowing from expected future life expectancy increases. However, if the eligibility age were to be increased more gradually, Indigenous Australians would be afforded a greater opportunity to access age pension benefits, whilst still reducing the length of time the non-Indigenous population is eligible to access the age pension, thus fulfilling policy objectives to manage increasing costs associated with population ageing.


Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Insurance Coverage: Dynamics of Gaining and Losing Coverage Over the Life-Course

Abstract

Health insurance coverage varies substantially between racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Compared to non-Hispanic whites, African Americans and people of Hispanic origin had persistently lower insurance coverage rates at all ages. This article describes age- and group-specific dynamics of insurance gain and loss that contribute to inequalities found in traditional cross-sectional studies. It uses the longitudinal 2008 Panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (N = 114,345) to describe age-specific patterns of disparity prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A formal decomposition on increment–decrement life tables of insurance gain and loss shows that coverage disparities are predominately driven by minority groups’ greater propensity to lose the insurance that they already have. Uninsured African Americans were faster to gain insurance compared to non-Hispanic whites, but their high rates of insurance loss more than negated this advantage. Disparities from greater rates of loss among minority groups emerge rapidly at the end of childhood and persist throughout adulthood. This is especially true for African Americans and Hispanics, and their relative disadvantages again heighten in their 40s and 50s.


Childbearing Behavior Before and After the 1994 Population Policies in Ghana

Abstract

Due to the high population growth rate in the mid-20th century, the government of Ghana introduced population policies to reduce the growth rate. Encouraging girls’ education and increasing contraceptive use were the two main policy measures to reduce population growth. In order to get a clear picture of the childbearing dynamics of Ghanaian women in response to the population policy of 1994, we analyzed individual reproductive histories from 1969 to 2003 using 2003 Ghana Demographic Health survey data to disentangle patterns by parity, calendar period, and educational groups. Exponential hazard regression models were used to estimate the relative risk of births. We find some evidence of a critical juncture in fertility trends, particularly for the fifth child. In addition, higher parity transition rates continuously declined for women with secondary or higher education and these educational levels were achieved by a higher share of the population after the policy was implemented. The 1994 population policy was successful if only by virtue of the increasing number of women with secondary or higher education. Belonging to this group is not only associated with lower fertility, but this suppressing effect strengthened in the years following the policy implementation. We also suspect that the increasing similarity between women with no education and with primary education reflects the diffusion of contraceptive knowledge and norms related to childbearing. The educational reform and contraceptive initiatives did result in increased education and contraceptive awareness and are therefore beneficial programs.


The Discrepancy Between Ideal and Actual Parity in Hong Kong: Fertility Desire, Intention, and Behavior

Abstract

The total fertility rate of Hong Kong has remained below 1.3 children per woman for about three decades, but it is still unknown whether this ultra-low fertility is driven by a downward shift in people’s fertility desires, or by low fertility intention. This study investigates the fertility desires and fertility intentions of married women via a parity-specific approach, using data from the knowledge, attitude, and practice survey conducted in 2012. The results show that the average ideal parity has shifted to sub-replacement level, indicating that the “two-child family” ideal is waning. The logistic regressions show that the determinants of low fertility intentions vary across parities: marital life satisfaction, household income, and good communication with husbands regarding childbearing are positively associated with first-birth intentions; wives’ part-time work depresses second-birth intentions; wives’ full-time work and gender inequality in the division of housework are negatively associated with third-birth intentions. It is noteworthy that fertility desire has become a strong predictor of fertility intention—especially related to first and second births, independent of other socioeconomic factors. Motivations for childbearing and difficulties in childrearing also differ across actual parities. These results should be applicable to women in other high-income Asian countries. The formulation of any pronatalist policy in Hong Kong should consider these parity-specific differences to enhance its effectiveness.