15 Nov 2018

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


Earthquake Impacts on Immigrant Participation in the Greater Christchurch Construction Labor Market

Abstract

Post natural disaster immigration has potential to significantly impact labor markets, possibly affecting local workers’ employment opportunities and thereby community recovery. However, research is limited. This study examines the impacts of the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes on demographic composition and occupational structure in the Greater Christchurch construction industry using customized data from New Zealand Census of Populations and Dwellings conducted in 2006 and 2013. Replication of the discrete dependent variable regression methods used by Sisk and Bankston III (Popul Res Policy Rev 33(3):309–334, 2014) enables comparison with outcomes in New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina. The increased presence of migrant construction workers did not reduce employment of New Zealand-born workers, both non-immigrant and immigrant participation in the construction industry increased post-earthquakes. After the earthquakes, there was increased worker participation at the lowest-skill end of the occupational structure, but there were few significant changes in occupational distributions of non-immigrant and immigrant workers. Non-immigrant workers still dominated all occupational levels post-earthquakes. Construction workers’ education levels were higher post-earthquakes, particularly among migrant workers. Overall, migrant workers in the Greater Christchurch construction industry were more diverse, better educated, and participated at higher occupational levels than migrants assisting in the New Orleans rebuild, possibly due to differences in immigration policies.


Education and Health Conditions Among the Currently Incarcerated and the Non-incarcerated Populations

Abstract

Previous research has found a strong link between educational attainment and health, where the highly educated live longer and healthier lives than those with lower levels of education. Because such research has relied on samples of the non-institutionalized population, previous research has not explored the association between education and specific chronic and infectious health conditions among the currently incarcerated. Analyzing the relationship between education and health conditions among the incarcerated, who tend to be less healthy and for whom many of the intermediate mechanisms between education and health are held relatively constant in prison, may yield new insights. Using the 2002–2004 National Health Interview Study (N = 74,881), the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities (N = 17,553), and interaction terms from logistic regression models, I compared the strength of the association between educational attainment and the presence of chronic and infectious health conditions among the incarcerated and non-incarcerated populations. These models indicated generally stronger negative associations between educational attainment and chronic conditions among the non-incarcerated, while the negative relationship between education and hepatitis was stronger for the incarcerated. These results suggest that while education may play a lesser role for chronic conditions for the incarcerated, it can still important for avoiding risky health behaviors.


Adolescent Fertility Attitudes and Childbearing in Early Adulthood

Abstract

Teens’ attitudes about adolescent childbearing predict childbearing in the short term. If these attitudes reflect persistent goals and values, they may also be linked to later outcomes. To test long-term linkages, we analyze the association of adolescent fertility attitudes with actual and prospective fertility in adulthood using Waves I (1994–1995) and IV (2007–2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and focusing on men (N = 4275) and women (N = 4418) without a teen birth. For women, we find that more negative teen attitudes predict lower hazards of a first birth up to around age 30 but that teens’ attitudes are unrelated to planned childlessness among those who have not yet had children. Men’s adolescent attitudes are unrelated to actual fertility or prospective intentions. For both men and women, more advantaged individuals are less likely to have had a child by around age 30; socioeconomic advantage is also related to postponement of childbearing rather than planned childlessness, though more so for women than men. We interpret the findings as evidence that, for girls, teens’ attitudes toward adolescent childbearing capture an internalization of social schema about childbearing, childrearing, and sequencing with other life outcomes but do not reflect overall preferences about having children. More work is needed to understand the psychosocial factors that influence men’s fertility.


Correlating Post-disaster Support Network Density with Reciprocal Support Relation Satisfaction: An Elderly Cohort Within One Year of the 2011 Japan Disasters

Abstract

While there has been much empirical investigation into how social support networks improve mental health in post-disaster communities, network density—the extent members within a network are acquainted—remains under-researched. This study examines correlations between support network density and support reciprocity satisfaction in an elderly sample (N = 221), and the influence on post-disaster depression and trauma symptomology in a fishing community south of the Fukushima nuclear plant within 1 year of the March 11, 2011 Japan earthquake. The Brief Inventory of Social Support Exchange Network (BISSEN) taps support network density, support source by relational category, tangible and emotional type, and providing or receiving direction of social support. Density measurement convergent validity was established from questionnaire responses. After confirming network density construct and criteria validity, and extracting components reciprocal support relationship satisfaction, correlation between these two variables was moderate at r = 0.34. However, reciprocity satisfaction moderately explained mental health variance, but results were not significant for density nor interaction between predictors. These results question the assumption that support network density and support reciprocity can be validly incorporated into a construct of “social capital” necessarily promoting mental health.


Sharing Parental Leave Among Dual-Earner Couples in Canada: Does Reserved Paternity Leave Make a Difference?

Abstract

In 2006, Quebec became the first Canadian province to offer non-transferable paternity leave to fathers. The availability of this five-week leave distinguishes the province from the rest of the country, where only maternity and parental leave are available. Using data from Statistics Canada’s 2011 General Social Survey, the authors investigate to what extent the availability of reserved paternity leave and couples’ conjugal union type affect the probability of fathers taking leave and the duration of leave. Among couples in which at least one parent took leave, descriptive analysis shows that 75% of Quebec fathers took leave, whereas only 50% of fathers elsewhere in Canada took leave. Both parents received wage replacement benefits in nearly 60% of cases in Quebec, but in only 8% of cases in other provinces. Multivariate analysis confirms that the availability of paternity leave is positively linked to the higher likelihood of Quebec fathers taking leave compared to fathers in other provinces. However, paternity leave is negatively associated with fathers’ duration of leave, as well as that of mothers. Married fathers were more likely than cohabiting fathers to take parental leave in provinces outside Quebec, but not in Quebec. Among other variables, we find that education levels of mothers, gender-role attitudes (approached through sharing of housework), number of children, and family type significantly affect the likelihood of fathers taking leave. Duration of leave appears more closely associated with differences between partners in terms of age and income for mothers, and of education for both parents.


Children and the Mental Health of Older Adults in China: What Matters?

Abstract

China is witnessing several major demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural trends that likely intersect in unique and significant ways to influence the health and well-being of its older adult population. Concerns that such trends may be eroding traditional family structures and values raise questions about the continued importance and impact of children on the lives of their older parents. Do children matter and, if so, what is it about having children that makes a difference to the mental health of their parents? This study addressed these issues using baseline data drawn from the Chinese Longitudinal Aging Social Survey, conducted in 2014. Multivariate OLS regression analyses revealed the importance of having children for parental mental health. This relationship was found to be mediated by economic/utilitarian factors (co-residence, the receipt of financial, and instrumental support) as well as psychological/emotional factors (companionship, emotional support), and social/traditional factors (children’s socioeconomic status achievements). These findings support the view that children continue to be important to the mental health of their older parents in contemporary China. Further, what matters most when it comes to understanding the influence that children have on parents’ mental health are their perceived accomplishments in life and their meaningful presence in the day-to-day lives of their parents.


Does it Take a Village? Migration among Rural South African Youth

Abstract

In a rural African context, the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” suggests that community characteristics are substantially important in children’s lives as they transit to adulthood. Are these contextual factors also related to youth migration? Demographers are uncertain about how community characteristics improve our understanding of an individual’s propensity to migrate, beyond individual and household factors. In many low- and middle-income country settings, youth become migrants for the first time in their lives to provide access to resources that their families need. We employ discrete-time event history models from 2003 to 2011 Agincourt Health and socio-Demographic Surveillance System in rural South Africa to test whether markers of development in a village are associated with the likelihood of youth and young adults migrating, distinguishing between becoming temporary and permanent migrants during this critical life cycle phase. We find that village characteristics indeed differentially predict migration, but not nearly as substantially as might be expected.


From Motherhood Premium to Motherhood Penalty? Heterogeneous Effects of Motherhood Stages on Women’s Economic Outcomes in Urban China

Abstract

Chinese women have reached a high level of labor force participation before China’s deepening economic reform starting from the early 1990s, while women’s deteriorating position in the labor market has been documented in recent literature. However, few studies connect the relationship between the presence of children at different ages and women’s labor market outcomes. Capitalizing on longitudinal data, this study uses a person-fixed-effects model to investigate the relationship between motherhood stages and women’s economic outcomes in urban China. It takes into consideration the impact of children at various ages, as well as the impact of growth in local economies. We find that very young children inhibit mothers’ employment, but the presence of school-aged children is positively correlated with mothers’ income. Our analysis further suggests that, with the development of local economies, the negative association of very young children and women’s labor activity is exacerbated, while the positive relationship between school-aged children and mothers’ income is weakened. Our findings also contribute to the literature on labor market institutions, gender-role ideologies, and the impact on women’s economic outcomes as they balance work with childrearing obligations.


Kyne–Donner Model of Authority’s Recommendation and Hurricane Evacuation Decisions: A Study of Hypothetical Hurricane Event in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Abstract

Many previous studies identified factors influencing hurricane evacuation decisions by testing the protective action decision model (PADM). This study further examines factors that affect the trust in authority’s recommendation and evacuation decision-making in a proposed Kyne–Donner Model. The model provides an understanding of the predictive factors influencing evacuation decision-making through the mediating factor of trust in authority’s recommendation. This study takes advantage of the structural equation modeling method to simultaneously test multi-stages of the model. There are factors, namely, age, gender, education, household size, decision maker, risk area, house materials, hurricane evacuation experience, information seeking frequency, information seeking behavior, and information sources which influence trust in authority’s recommendation which, together with hurricane evacuation impediments, influence the hurricane evacuation decision. The study’s findings are consistent with the PADM and demonstrate the importance of trust in authority’s recommendation and hurricane evacuation decision-making.


The Evolving and Complementary Impacts of Transportation Infrastructures on Population and Employment Change in the United States, 1970–2010

Abstract

Transportation infrastructures play an essential role in influencing population and employment change. While railroads, highways, and airports were constructed in different time periods, now they complement each other in terms of providing accessibility. This study uses county-level data to examine the impacts of the three forms of transportation infrastructure on population and employment change in the continental United States from 1970 to 2010. The findings suggest that transportation infrastructures play evolving but complementary roles in affecting population and employment change during the study period: railroads act as a distributive factor, highways take a facilitator role, and airports behave like growth poles. Diversification of the roles indicates that transportation infrastructures have evolved from a pure growth factor to an essential multifaceted development element of human society.


Armed Conflict and Fertility in Colombia, 2000–2010

Abstract

This paper looks at the association between the Colombian Armed Internal Conflict (AIC) and fertility for women in the first decade of the 21st century when the conflict underwent a strategic change after the escalation of armed action by outlaw groups and frontal response by the Colombian government. We fit a Poisson model that incorporates spatial and temporal information, using individual-level data from the Colombian Demographic and Health Surveys from 2000 to 2010 and novel information, for the Colombian case, on the number of armed actions. In rural areas, we find that the AIC had a significant positive association with fertility and non-significant relationship in urban areas, of any size with robust and consistent estimators. Two possible explanations may clarify these results for a long-term conflict such as that in Colombia: (i) women’s responses to higher mortality levels and (ii) the weakening of local institutions assumed to provide protection and health-related services to women. Other than the improvement of health-related services in areas affected by the conflict, we also suggest data collection on these latter conditions directly from the population involved to facilitate future research on the connection between conflicts and demographic outcomes.


Correction to: Subsequent Migration of Immigrants Within Australia, 1981–2016

The article Subsequent Migration of Immigrants Within Australia, 1981–2016, written by James Raymer and Bernard Baffour, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on 31st July 2018 without open access. With the author(s)’ decision to opt for Open Choice the copyright of the article changed on August 2018 to © The Author(s) 2018 and the article is forthwith distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.


Is Local Social Development Associated with Workforce Composition? A Municipal Analysis of Mexico, 1990–2015

Abstract

A critical development goal involves reducing subsistence farming and encouraging entrepreneurship and formal sector employment. A growing number of studies examine cross-national variation in the rates of subsistence farming, marginal self-employment, formal employment, and prosperous entrepreneurship by level of development. However, despite significant regional disparities in development within most low-to-middle-income countries, little is known about how development at the local level is associated with labor market patterns. Using a pooled cross section containing four waves of data from the Mexican Census (1990–2015), this study investigates the relationship between social development and municipal workforce composition. In the 1980s, Mexico initiated an ambitious and multipronged development agenda intended to reduce extreme regional disparities in educational attainment, housing quality, access to utilities, and poverty. This study measures social development using a multi-dimensional measure that captures educational attainment, housing quality, access to utilities, and poverty. Laborers are separated into employed, own-account workers, and employers, with each category divided into agricultural and non-agricultural. In a second set of analyses, non-agricultural own-account workers are categorized as high and low growth potential and non-agricultural wage workers are separated into informal and formal sector. Results from fixed effects regression models indicate that local development significantly reduces the rate of own-account agricultural work and increases non-agricultural wage labor and employer self-employment. As less developed areas advance, the largest initial increase in non-agricultural work is in the informal sector. But, in more developed communities, social development increasingly predicts growth in formal sector employment and more selective entry into non-agricultural own-account work. The findings suggest that investment in community-level social development has the potential to reduce subsistence self-employment, encourage formal sector work, and promote entrepreneurship. Yet, the greatest gains occur in communities that already have mid to high levels of social development.


Smoking and Variation in the Hispanic Paradox: A Comparison of Low Birthweight Across 33 US States

Abstract

The Hispanic Paradox in birth outcomes is well documented for the US as a whole, but little work has considered geographic variation underlying the national pattern. This inquiry is important given the rapid growth of the Hispanic population and its geographic dispersion. Using birth records data from 2014 through 2016, we document state variation in birthweight differentials between US-born white women and the three Hispanic populations with the largest numbers of births: US-born Mexican women, foreign-born Mexican women, and foreign-born Central and South American women. Our analyses reveal substantial geographic variation in Hispanic immigrant–white low-birthweight disparities. For example, Hispanic immigrants in Southeastern states and in some states from other regions have reduced risk of low birthweight relative to whites, consistent with a “Hispanic Paradox.” A significant portion of Hispanic immigrants’ birthweight advantage in these states is explained by lower rates of smoking relative to whites. However, Hispanic immigrants have higher rates of low birthweight in California and several other Western states. The different state patterns are largely driven by geographic variation in smoking among whites, rather than geographic differences in Hispanic immigrants’ birthweights. In contrast, US-born Mexicans generally have similar or slightly higher odds of low birthweight than whites across the US. Overall, we show that the Hispanic Paradox in birthweight varies quite dramatically by state, driven by geographic variation in low birthweight among whites associated with white smoking disparities across states.


The Effect of Adult Children’s Working Hours on Visits to Elderly Parents: A Natural Experiment in Korea

Abstract

Despite its significant policy implications, little is known about the impact working hours have on how often workers visit their elderly parents. Evidence is particularly lacking on men’s overtime work and workers in Asia. We examine the causal impact of male workers’ working times on parental visits, using a natural experiment to eliminate potential endogeneity bias. In 2004, the Korean government began reducing its legal workweek from 44 to 40 h, gradually expanding it from larger to smaller establishments by 2011. Using annual longitudinal data from the 2005 to 2014 Korea Labor and Income Panel Study (N = 7005 person-waves), we estimated an instrumental variable (IV) fixed-effects (FE) regression model. Our IV was an indicator variable of whether an individual full-time worker’s legal workweek was reduced to 40 h in a given year. The results showed that working one additional hour a week lowered the frequency of visits by 6.5% (95% confidence interval [− 13.0%, 0.0%]), which was not apparent in a FE model without the IV. Working long hours has implications for workers’ interactions with their elderly parents, and the failure to consider endogeneity in actual working hours may understate the negative effect. Reducing work hours may serve as an effective policy intervention for improving the well-being of older adults in rapidly aging Asian countries in a work-oriented and family-centered culture. We also highlight the need for further attention to men’s work hours, which are often considered much less important than women’s work status in population research on intergenerational support.


Disparities in Children’s Family Experiences by Mother’s Socioeconomic Status: The Case of Finland

Abstract

A well-known argument claims that socioeconomic differentials in children’s family structures have become increasingly important in shaping child outcomes and the resources available to children in developed societies. One assumption is that differentials are comparatively small in Nordic welfare states. Our study examines how children’s experiences of family structures and family dynamics vary by their mother’s educational attainment in Finland. Based on register data on the childbearing and union histories of women in Finland born from 1969 onwards, we provide life-table estimates of children’s (N = 64,162) experiences of family dissolution, family formation, and family structure from ages 0–15 years, stratified by mother’s education level at the child’s birth. We find huge socioeconomic disparities in children’s experiences of family structures and transitions. Compared to children of highly educated mothers, children of mothers with low levels of education are almost twice as likely to be born in cohabitation and four times as likely to be born to a lone mother. They are also much more likely to experience further changes in family structure—particularly parental separation. On average, children of low-educated mothers spend just half of their childhood years living with both their parents, whereas those of high-educated mothers spend four-fifths of their childhood with both parents. The sociodemographic inequalities among children in Nordic welfare states clearly deserve more scholarly attention.


SNAP Benefits and Pregnancy-Related Emergency Room Visits

Abstract

Pregnant women are likely to be sensitive to daily fluctuations in nutritional intake. To see if income constraints at the end of the month limit food consumption and trigger health problems, we examine how the date that benefits are issued for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) changes the probability that a woman will go to the Emergency Room (ER) for pregnancy-related conditions using administrative data from SNAP and Medicaid from Missouri for 2010–2013. SNAP benefits in Missouri are distributed from the 1st through the 22nd day of the month based on the birth month and the first letter of the last name of the head of the household, making timing of SNAP issuance exogenous. We estimate probit models of the calendar month and SNAP benefit month on the probability of a pregnancy-related ER visit for women age 17–45, or the sample at risk of being pregnant. We also examine the relationship between SNAP benefit levels and ER visits. We found that women who received SNAP benefits in the second or third week of the calendar month were less likely to receive pregnancy-related care through the ER in the week following benefit receipt. Results suggest that SNAP benefits might be related to patterns of pregnancy-related medical care accessed through the ER. Since SNAP issuance date is within state control in the United States, states may want to consider the health effects of their choice.


Business Cycles, Medicaid Generosity, and Birth Outcomes

Abstract

Birth outcomes influence many aspects of later life health and wellbeing, making healthcare access during pregnancy a policy priority. Low-income mothers often depend on Medicaid, for which eligibility is determined by their income relative to state eligibility thresholds. The prevalence of adverse birth outcomes is known to exhibit cyclical variation, due in part to changes in the composition of women giving birth in response to changing economic conditions. However, cyclical variation in adverse birth outcomes also varies with respect to Medicaid eligibility thresholds. Our analysis uses birth-records data for 2000 through 2013, aggregated into 173,936 county-by-quarter observations and linked to county-level unemployment rates and state-level parental Medicaid thresholds. Using fixed-effects negative binomial models, we examine the role of Medicaid generosity in influencing birth outcomes across business cycles. We test for interactions between Medicaid and unemployment, hypothesizing that the negative effects of recessions are worse where Medicaid thresholds are more restrictive. We find that higher Medicaid generosity dampens the negative effects of recessions on birth outcomes. The extent to which Medicaid interacts with unemployment also varies according to the age and race composition of mothers; in particular, Black mothers are both most affected by unemployment and most responsive to Medicaid generosity. Given current concerns about racial gaps in both infant and maternal mortality, our findings suggest that Medicaid may be an important feature of a strategy to close gaps in the prevalence of adverse birth outcomes across racial groups, especially during bust years.


Changing Life Expectancy and Health Expectancy Among Russian Adults: Results from the Past 20 Years

Abstract

The decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union was characterized by wide fluctuations in Russian mortality rates, but since the early 2000s, life expectancy has improved progressively. Recent upturns in longevity have promoted policy debates over extending the retirement age in the country. However, whether observed gains in life expectancy are accompanied by improving health remains to be addressed. Using data from the 1994–2014 Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of the Higher School of Economics, this study investigates trends over 20 years in healthy life expectancy (HLE) and illness-free life expectancy (IFLE) for men and women at adult ages. Analyses using the Sullivan method show that men and women at adult ages have experienced large increases in health expectancies during the post-Soviet period. Increases in HLE exceeded increases in total life expectancy for both genders. Further, health expectancies have evolved over time through cycles of increases and decreases, just like life expectancy. These results suggest increases in good-quality years among men and women at working ages, offering support for changing the official retirement age. The extent of the change in the retirement age, however, needs to be carefully considered, given that, despite recent improvements, the health expectancy of the Russian population still remains low.


Editors’ Introduction