3 May 2016

Recent Articles in Population Research and Policy Review RSS


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.


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.


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.


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.


Multistate Transfer Rate Estimation from Adjacent Populations

Abstract

In multistate populations, the rates of interstate transfer cannot generally be determined from the size and composition of the populations at the beginning and end of a time interval. With N living states, the population data give only N equations to determine the N 2 possible rates. Here, the QERT (quadratic estimation of rates of transfer) approach is advanced that allows the transfer rates to be estimated when the products of selected pairs of rates can be assumed constant. The solution can be written in closed form and, for N living states, involves no more than N−1 quadratic equations. Compared to the leading alternative approaches, QERT provides very similar numerical estimates, while yielding the underlying behavioral rates, having flexible input requirements, accommodating all structural zeros, and reproducing the exact solution when interstate transfers are strictly hierarchical. The QERT approach is applied to construct labor force life tables for U.S. men and women for 2005–2010. The results show that labor force participation differences between men and women have continued to narrow, and that the QERT approach can generate robust worklife estimates. QERT thus provides new opportunities for demographic analysis in the absence of direct data on behavioral rates.


Australia Farewell: Predictors of Emigration in the 2000s

Abstract

The factors leading individuals to immigrate to developed contexts are widely studied, but comparatively less is known about those who emigrate from them. In this paper, we use data from a nationally representative cohort of Australian adults to develop longitudinal measures of emigration and to assess how social ties and individual economic position predict emigration. Cox proportional hazards models indicate that the propensity to emigrate is particularly pronounced for those with relatively little social connectedness in Australia. Specifically, our results show that first-generation Australians, especially those with relatively short durations in the country, have substantially higher emigration rates than later-generation Australians. Similarly, having a partner with deeper generational roots in Australia strongly reduces the likelihood to emigrate. At the same time, our analysis also shows that economic position matters, with the not employed having higher risks of emigration. Perhaps most interestingly, estimates from our models reveal that those with university degrees are much more likely to emigrate than individuals with lower levels of education, a finding that is true for both first- and later-generation Australians.


Reassessing and Revising Commuting Zones for 2010: History, Assessment, and Updates for U.S. ‘Labor-Sheds’ 1990–2010

Abstract

This paper employs commuter flow data from the 1990 and 2000 Decennial Censuses, and the 2006–2010 American Community Survey to replicate, evaluate, and extend the delineation of commuting zones first proposed by Tolbert and Killian (Labor Market Areas for the United States, 1987). Commuting zones offer a valuable tool for research on regional economies and have long served rural sociologists, economists, and geographers interested in a representation of the economy that acknowledges a connection between urban and rural areas and the capacity of economic systems to cross state lines. Our delineations provide both an update in the form of new delineations for 2010 and a revised set of 1990 and 2000 delineations that benefit from a consistent methodology across decades. We also provide a set of tools for comparing delineations across methods and over time. In presenting our revised delineations, we shed light on the role of expert opinion in the original delineations, the strengths and weaknesses of the original method, and offer suggestions for further revision of this tool that may better reflect the theoretical conception of commuting zones.


It is Hard to Swim Upstream: Dietary Acculturation Among Mexican-Origin Children

Abstract

Health and immigration researchers often implicate dietary acculturation in explanations of Mexican children of immigrants’ weight gain after moving to the U.S., but rarely explore how diet is shaped by immigrants’ structural incorporation. We used data from the 1999/00-2009/10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess how indicators of Mexican-origin children’s acculturation and structural incorporation influence two outcomes: how healthy and how “Americanized” children’s diets are. Indicators of acculturation were strongly associated with more Americanized and less healthy diets. However, structural incorporation indicators were mostly unrelated to diet outcomes net of acculturation. An exception was that parental education was positively associated with consuming a healthy diet. Finally, children of natives consumed more Americanized, unhealthy diets than children of immigrants and these differences were largely explained by differences in the acculturation. Children of natives would have consumed an even less healthy diet were it not for their higher levels of parental education. Overall, the results suggest that the process of adapting to the U.S. life style is associated with the loss of cultural culinary preferences and less healthy eating behaviors despite improvements in socioeconomic status.


Evaluation of Alternative Cohort-Component Models for Local Area Population Forecasts

Abstract

It is generally accepted by demographers that cohort-component projection models which incorporate directional migration are conceptually preferable to those using net migration. Yet net migration cohort-component models, and other simplified variations, remain in common use by both academics and practitioners because of their simplicity and low data requirements. While many arguments have been presented in favour of using one or other type of model, surprisingly little analysis has been undertaken to assess which tend to give the most accurate forecasts. This paper evaluates five cohort-component models which differ in the way they handle migration, four of which are well known, with one—a composite net migration model—being proposed here for the first time. The paper evaluates the performance of these five models in their unconstrained form, and then in a constrained form in which age–sex-specific forecasts are constrained to independent total populations from an extrapolative model shown to produce accurate forecasts in earlier research. Retrospective forecasts for 67 local government areas of New South Wales were produced for the period 1991–2011 and then compared to population estimates. Assessments of both total and age-specific population forecasts were made. The results demonstrate the superior performance of the forecasts constrained to total populations from the extrapolative model, with the constrained bi-regional model giving the lowest errors. The findings should be of use to practitioners in selecting appropriate models for local area population forecasts.


Wealth Inequality Among Immigrants: Consistent Racial/Ethnic Inequality in the United States

Abstract

Wealth is a strong indicator of immigrant integration in U.S. society. Drawing on new assimilation theory, we highlight the importance of racial/ethnic group boundaries and propose different paths of wealth integration among U.S. immigrants. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and quantile regression, we show that race/ethnicity shapes immigrant wealth inequality across the entire distribution of net worth, along with immigrants’ U.S. experience, such as immigrant status, U.S. education, English language proficiency, and time spent in the United States. Our results document consistent racial/ethnic inequality among immigrants, also evidenced among the U.S. born, revealing that even when accounting for key aspects of U.S. experience, wealth inequality with whites for Latino and black immigrants is strong.


Economic and Institutional Context and Second Births in Seven European Countries

Abstract

The extent to which mothers progress to a second child varies greatly between European countries. Although both institutional and economic context are believed to be partly responsible for these differences, available research on economic conditions and fertility mostly focuses on first births and studies on family policy and fertility have hitherto insufficiently addressed population heterogeneity. Combining longitudinal microdata from the Harmonized Histories with contextual data on labour market uncertainty and family policy, this paper uses discrete-time hazard models to analyse the impact of economic and institutional context on second birth hazards of 22,298 women in 7 European countries between 1970 and 2002. Particular attention is paid to variation in the contextual effects by level of education. We find that aggregate-level unemployment and temporary employment reduce second birth hazards, particularly for low- and medium-level educated women. Family policies are positively related to second birth hazards. Whereas family allowances stimulate second births particularly among low educated mothers, the positive effect of childcare is invariant by level of education.


The Emergence of Two Distinct Fertility Regimes in Economically Advanced Countries

Abstract

Beginning in 2000, in economically advanced countries, a remarkable bifurcation in fertility levels has emerged, with one group in the moderate range of period total fertility rates, about 1.9, and the other at 1.3. The upper branch consists of countries in Northern and Western Europe, Oceania and the United States; the lower branch includes Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, and East and Southeast Asia. A review of the major theories for low-fertility countries reveals that none of them would have predicted this specific bifurcation. We argue that those countries with fertility levels close to replacement level have institutional arrangements, and related policies, that make it easier, not easy, for women to combine the worker and mother roles. The institutional details are quite different across countries, suggesting that multiple combinations of institutional arrangements and policies can lead to the same country-level fertility outcome. Canada, the only exception to this bifurcation, illustrates the importance of the different institutional structures in Québec compared to the rest of Canada.


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


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

Abstract

The struggle that women face in reconciling their work and family roles is one of the main explanations proposed for the rapid decline in fertility rates in some developed countries. This study examines the role of the outsourcing of housework in reducing such role incompatibility and in increasing fertility among women in Germany—a country with below-replacement fertility rates, which enacted a series of large-scale schemes from the beginning of the 1990s that give incentives to households to outsource housework. Based on Goode’s role strain theory and by using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this study analyzed whether women who outsourced housework after the birth of their first child had a higher probability of having a second child. A survival analysis of 3990 person years demonstrates that, controlling for observables, the outsourcing of domestic labor is positively associated with a higher probability of a subsequent second birth in German women.


Erosion of Advantage: Decomposing Differences in Infant Mortality Rates Among Older Non-Hispanic White and Mexican-Origin Mothers

Abstract

We build on findings from recent research showing an erosion of infant survival advantage in the Mexican-origin population relative to non-Hispanic whites at older maternal ages, with patterns that differ by nativity. This runs counter to the well-documented Hispanic infant mortality paradox and suggests that weathering and/or other negative health selection mechanisms may contribute to increasing disadvantage at older maternal ages. Using the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) cohort-linked birth and infant death files, we decompose the difference in Mexican-origin non-Hispanic white infant mortality at older maternal ages to better understand the contribution of selected medical and social risk factors to components of the difference. We find differences in the distribution and effects of risk factors across the three populations of interest. The infant mortality rate (IMR) gap between Mexican-origin women and non-Hispanic whites can be attributed to numerous offsetting factors, with inadequate prenatal care standing out as a major contributor to the IMR difference. Equalizing access to and utilization of prenatal care may provide one possible route to closing the IMR gap at older maternal ages.


Gentrification and Segregated Wealth in Rural America: Home Value Sorting in Destination Counties

Abstract

The term “gentrification” carries conflicting popular connotations, conjuring images of both revitalization and displacement. Despite a rich critical literature from urban social scientists, gentrification as it relates to rural housing and rural development is a similarly conflicted term. With the frequent conflation of rural gentrification and economic improvement, researchers and policy-makers alike need more nuanced techniques for identifying how the process distributes costs and benefits across households. This paper operationalizes rural gentrification as a specific demographic pattern of household migration, termed the “Rural Gentrification Score,” and maps its footprint between 1980 and 2000 in 25 US states. It then uses census data to better understand the impacts of rural gentrification on home values in rural counties, interrogating the popular notion that homeowners benefit from gentrification. Using comparative analyses, two related hypotheses about rural gentrification and inequality are explored: (1) that gentrified rural counties were susceptible to greater home value segregation and (2) that over time gentrification’s spread culminated in greater homogeneity of home values. Results support each of these hypotheses and point to nuances in the relationship between population turnover, inequality, and socioeconomic context. Most notably the findings highlight a spatial and temporal pattern of widening wealth inequality in gentrifying rural counties.


Realizing Racial and Ethnic Neighborhood Preferences? Exploring the Mismatches Between What People Want, Where They Search, and Where They Live

Abstract

The housing search process is an overlooked mechanism in the scholarly research that seeks to understand the causes of persistent racial residential segregation in the United States. Past research has explored in detail the preferences people hold in terms of the racial and ethnic composition of their neighborhoods, and more recently some have also examined the correspondence between racial and ethnic neighborhood preferences and current neighborhood racial/ethnic composition. But an intermediate stage—the racial/ethnic composition of where people search—has not been investigated. We analyze a subsample (n = 382) from the 2004–2005 Chicago Area Study to demonstrate the value of systematically studying the matches—or mismatches—between preferences, search locations, and neighborhood outcomes. We find that for whites, not only their current neighborhoods but also the neighborhoods in which they search for housing have larger percentages of whites than they say they prefer. In contrast, blacks—and to a lesser extent Latinos—search in neighborhoods that correspond to their preferences, but reside in neighborhoods with a larger percentage own group. Logistic regression analyses reveal that mismatches are associated with both a lack of information and inadequate finances, but also may be due to socially desirable responding for whites in particular. Our results provide suggestive evidence of the importance of unpacking the search process more generally and draw attention to what are likely to be productive new future data collection efforts as well as an area potentially ripe for policy interventions.


Age-Specific Variation in Adult Mortality Rates in Developed Countries

Abstract

This paper investigates historical changes in both single-year-of-age adult mortality rates and variation of the single-year mortality rates around expected values within age intervals over the past two centuries in 15 developed countries. We apply an integrated hierarchical age-period-cohort—variance function regression model to data from the human mortality database. We find increasing variation of the single-year rates within broader age intervals over the life course for all countries, but the increasing variation slows down at age 90 and then increases again after age 100 for some countries; the variation significantly declined across cohorts born after the early 20th century; and the variation continuously declined over much of the last two centuries but has substantially increased since 1980. Our further analysis finds the recent increases in mortality variation are not due to increasing proportions of older adults in the population, trends in mortality rates, or disproportionate delays in deaths from degenerative and man-made diseases, but rather due to increasing variations in young and middle-age adults.


Family Structure and Children’s Economic Well-Being: Incorporating Same-Sex Cohabiting Mother Families

Abstract

Research on family structure and child well-being rarely includes children in same-sex parent families, a notable omission since 28 % of female–female couple households contain children. Using the 2010–2013 pooled current population survey (CPS), we examined children’s economic well-being by family structure. These data were ideal for this study because they included a sizeable number of children in same-sex cohabiting mother families and the CPS measured both official and supplemental poverty, incorporating the cohabiting partner. Using the official poverty measure, children in same-sex cohabiting mother families were more likely to be poor than their counterparts in either different-sex cohabiting or married parent families. Using the supplemental poverty measure, children in same-sex mother families were no more likely to be poor than children in all other types of different-sex two-parent families.


The Benefits of Educational Attainment for U.S. Adult Mortality: Are they Contingent on the Broader Environment?

Abstract

The growing recognition that educational attainment is one of the strongest preventive factors for adult health and longevity has fueled an interest in educational attainment as a population health strategy. However, less attention has been given to identifying social, economic, and behavioral resources that may moderate the health and longevity benefits of education. We draw on theories of resource substitution and multiplication to examine the extent to which the education–mortality association is contingent on other resources (marriage, employment, income, healthy lifestyles). We use data on adults aged 30–84 in the 1997–2006 National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality File and estimate discrete-time event history models stratified by gender (N = 146,558; deaths = 10,399). We find that the mortality benefits of education are generally largest for adults—especially women—who have other resources such as employment and marriage, supporting the theory of resource multiplication. Nonetheless, our results also imply that other resources can potentially attenuate the mortality disadvantages (advantages) associated with low (high) levels of education. The findings suggest that efforts to improve population health and longevity by raising education levels should be augmented with strategies that assure widespread access to social, economic, and behavioral resources.