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Gender and time allocation of cohabiting and married women and men in France, Italy, and the United States

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Gender and time allocation of cohabiting and married women and men in France, Italy, and the United States
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Women, who generally do more unpaid and less paid work than men, have greater incentives to stay in marriages than cohabiting unions, which generally carry fewer legal protections for individuals that wish to dissolve their relationship. The extent to which cohabitation is institutionalized, however, is a matter of policy and varies substantially by country. The gender gap in paid and unpaid work between married and cohabiting individuals should be larger in countries where cohabitation is less institutionalized and where those in cohabiting relationships have relatively fewer legal protections should the relationship dissolve, yet few studies have explored this variation.

Objective:
Using time diary data from France, Italy, and the United States, we assess the time men and women devote to paid and unpaid work in cohabiting and married couples. These three countries provide a useful diversity in marital regimes for examining these expectations: France, where cohabitation is most “marriage like” and where partnerships can be registered and carry legal rights; the United States, where cohabitation is common but is short-lived and unstable and where legal protections vary across states; and Italy, where cohabitation is not common and where such unions are not legally acknowledged and less socially approved than in either France or the United States.

Results:
Cohabitating men’s and women’s time allocated to market and nonmarket work is generally more similar than married men and women. Our expectations about country differences are only partially borne out by the findings. Greater gender differences in the time allocated to market and nonmarket work are found in Italy relative to either France or the U.S.

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Towards a Geography of Unmarried Cohabitation in the Americas

May 27, 2014 Comments off

Towards a Geography of Unmarried Cohabitation in the Americas
Source: Demographic Research

Background: As the incidence of cohabitation has been rising in many parts of the world, efforts to determine the forces driving the cohabitation boom have also been intensifying. But most of the analyses of this issue conducted so far were carried out at a national level, and did not account for regional heterogeneity within countries.

Objective: This paper presents the geography of unmarried cohabitation in the Americas. We offer a large-scale, cross-national perspective, together with small-area estimates of cohabitation. We created this map for several reasons. (i) First, our examination of the geography of cohabitation reveals considerable spatial heterogeneity, and challenges the explanatory frameworks which may work at the international level, but which have low explanatory power with regard to intra-national variation. (ii) Second, we argue that historical pockets of cohabitation can still be identified by examining the current geography of cohabitation. (iii) Finally, our map serves as an initial step in efforts to determine whether the recent increase in cohabitation is an intensification of pre-existing traditions, or whether it has different roots that suggest that a new geography may be evolving.

Methods: Census microdata from 39 countries and 19,000 local units have been pooled together to map the prevalence of cohabitation among women.

Results: The results show inter- and intra-national regional contrasts. The highest rates of cohabitation are found in areas of Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, and Peru. The lowest rates are mainly found in the United States and Mexico. In all of the countries, the spatial autocorrelation statistics indicate that there is substantial spatial heterogeneity.

Conclusions: Our results lead us to ask what forces may have shaped these patterns, and they remind us that these forces need to be taken into account when seeking to explain recent cohabitation patterns, and especially the rise in cohabitation.

The sexual double standard and gender differences in attitudes toward casual sex among U.S. university students

May 2, 2014 Comments off

The sexual double standard and gender differences in attitudes toward casual sex among U.S. university students
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
A significant portion of premarital sexual activity is casual rather than in relationships, and commentators disagree on whether this is what women prefer.

Objective:
We examine gender differences in attitudes toward casual sex. We also assess whether there is a double standard whereby women are judged more harshly for casual sex.

Methods:
We use a large online survey of U.S. university students to examine gender differences with regard to attitudes and reports of sexual behavior.

Results:
While distributions overlap, the average man looks more favorably on casual sex than the average woman. Both sexes show substantial openness to relationships. We find evidence of a double standard: men are more judgmental toward women than toward men who have casual sex. Men appear to over-report and/or women to under-report intercourse and fellatio, suggesting that men see these acts as enhancing and/or women see them as diminishing their status.

Conclusions:
Women face more negative judgment than men when they are known to engage in casual sex, and they also report less interest in casual sex than men. Our analysis does not permit us to assess whether the double standard we find evidence of explains why women have less interest in casual sex, but we hypothesize that this is the case.

When one spouse has an affair, who is more likely to leave?

March 26, 2014 Comments off

When one spouse has an affair, who is more likely to leave?
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
We examine whether having an affair around the time a marriage broke up is associated with being the person who wanted the divorce more or the person who was left. We also examine predictors of having an affair around the end of the marriage.

Methods:
We use the National Survey of Families and Households, using each ex-spouse’s reports of which spouse wanted the divorce more and whether either was having an affair around the end of the marriage. We combine latent class models with logistic regression, treating either spouse’s report as a fallible indicator of the reality of whether each had an affair and who wanted the divorce more.

Results:
We find that a spouse having an affair is more likely to be the one who wanted the divorce more. We find little gender difference in who has affairs preceding divorce.

Conclusions:
Results suggest that it is more common to leave because one is having an affair, or to have an affair because one has decided to leave, than it is to discover one’s spouse having an affair and initiate a divorce.

Quantifying policy tradeoffs to support aging populations

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Quantifying policy tradeoffs to support aging populations
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Coping with aging populations is a challenge for most developed countries. Supporting non-working adults can create an unsustainable burden on those working. One way of dealing with this is to raise the normal pension age, but this has proven unpopular. A complementary approach is to raise the average labor force participation rate. These policies are generally more politically palatable because they often remove barriers, allowing people who would like to work to do so.

Objective:
To conceptualize and estimate the trade-off between pension age and labor force participation rate policies.

Methods: We project the populations of European countries and apply different levels of labor force participation rates to the projected populations. We introduce the notion of a relative burden, which is the ratio of the fraction of the income of people in the labor market in 2050 that they transfer to adults out of the labor market to the same fraction in 2009. We use this indicator to investigate the trade-offs between changes in normal pension ages and the general level of labor force participation rates.

Results:
We show that, in most European countries, a difference in policies that results in an increase in average labor force participation rates by an additional one to two percentage points by 2050 can substitute for a one-year increase in the normal pension age. This is important because, in many European countries, without additional increases in labor force participation rates, normal pension ages would have to be raised well above 68 by 2050 to keep the burden on those working manageable.

Conclusions:
Because of anticipated increases in life expectancy and health at older ages as well as because of financial necessity, some mix of increases in pension ages and in labor force participation rates will be needed. Pension age changes by themselves will not be sufficient.

Non-marital pregnancy and the second demographic transition in Australia in historical perspective

March 19, 2014 Comments off

Non-marital pregnancy and the second demographic transition in Australia in historical perspective
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Australia has remarkably detailed data on non-marital pregnancy dating from 1908. They both offer insight into long-term trends in childbearing resulting from non-marital sexual activity and reveal in historical context key features of the second demographic transition and its genesis.

Objective:
Trends are traced in rates of non-marital conception of children ultimately born both outside and within marriage. A range of related indices is also presented in examining how demographic behaviour surrounding non-marital pregnancy (i) helped generate the second demographic transition and (ii) unfolded as a component of it.

Methods:
Core indices are rates of non-marital conception partitioned into additive components associated with marital and non-marital confinement. Data on non-marital and early marital births (at marriage durations 0-7 months) are lagged back 38 weeks to a date of and age at conception basis to facilitate a common, unmarried, population at risk.

Results:
Post-war weakening of parental oversight of courtship was a fundamental trigger to the broader rejection of normative and institutional values that underpinned the second demographic transition. In tandem with denying the unmarried access to oral contraception it generated rampant youthful non-marital pregnancy, which undermined Judeo-Christian values, especially once abortion law reform occurred.

Conclusions:
Childbearing following non-marital conception transitioned rapidly after the 1960s from primarily the unintended product of youthful intercourse in non-coresidential relationships to mainly intended behaviour at normative reproductive ages in consensual unions. Family formation increasingly mixed non-marital births and premaritally and/or maritally conceived marital births.

EU — Quantifying policy tradeoffs to support aging populations

March 6, 2014 Comments off

Quantifying policy tradeoffs to support aging populations
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Coping with aging populations is a challenge for most developed countries. Supporting non-working adults can create an unsustainable burden on those working. One way of dealing with this is to raise the normal pension age, but this has proven unpopular. A complementary approach is to raise the average labor force participation rate. These policies are generally more politically palatable because they often remove barriers, allowing people who would like to work to do so.

Objective:
To conceptualize and estimate the trade-off between pension age and labor force participation rate policies.

Methods:
We project the populations of European countries and apply different levels of labor force participation rates to the projected populations. We introduce the notion of a relative burden, which is the ratio of the fraction of the income of people in the labor market in 2050 that they transfer to adults out of the labor market to the same fraction in 2009. We use this indicator to investigate the trade-offs between changes in normal pension ages and the general level of labor force participation rates.

Results:
We show that, in most European countries, a difference in policies that results in an increase in average labor force participation rates by an additional one to two percentage points by 2050 can substitute for a one-year increase in the normal pension age. This is important because, in many European countries, without additional increases in labor force participation rates, normal pension ages would have to be raised well above 68 by 2050 to keep the burden on those working manageable.

Conclusions:
Because of anticipated increases in life expectancy and health at older ages as well as because of financial necessity, some mix of increases in pension ages and in labor force participation rates will be needed. Pension age changes by themselves will not be sufficient.

Nonresident Fathers and Formal Child Support: Evidence from the CPS, NSFG, and SIPP

December 16, 2013 Comments off

Nonresident Fathers and Formal Child Support: Evidence from the CPS, NSFG, and SIPP
Source: Demographic Research

Background: Since the beginning of the 1980s, researchers have been raising concerns that surveys underestimated nonresident fatherhood due to sampling and questionnaire effects. Consequently, federal data collection efforts focused resources on reports from custodial mothers rather than from nonresident fathers. Recent data from three national sources provide researchers with an opportunity to estimate the prevalence of nonresident fathers.

Objective: Our goals were to provide estimates of contemporary nonresident fatherhood and of formal child support payments in the U.S., and to examine the consistency of these estimates across surveys.

Methods: We presented descriptive results for the proportion of men (aged 15-44) who reported having a nonresident child, and the proportion of nonresident fathers who reported having provided some formal support in the last year, using three nationally representative surveys: the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).

Results: The NSFG produced higher estimates of nonresident fatherhood, whereas both the CPS and the SIPP produced lower estimates of nonresident fatherhood. The findings on the composition of the nonresident father population by race/ethnicity and educational attainment also differed across the surveys. The results further demonstrated that the nonresident fathers identified in the NSFG were less likely to have been providing formal support, and that the racial/ethnic and educational differences found in the provision of formal support varied across the surveys.

Conclusions: Three nationally representative U.S. surveys produced substantively different estimates of the nonresident father population, and of the extent to which these fathers were providing formal child support. Ultimately, this study illustrates that we lack robust estimates of nonresident fatherhood in the U.S.

Domestic gender equality and childbearing in Sweden

December 4, 2013 Comments off

Domestic gender equality and childbearing in Sweden
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Sweden, which is among the most gender-equal societies in the world, combines ‘modern’ family patterns such as unmarried cohabitation, delayed parenthood, high maternal labor force participation, and high break-up rates – all usually linked with low birth rates – with relatively high fertility. Sweden also has a high level of shared parental responsibility for home and children.

Objective:
After decades of late 20th century research showing that increasing gender equality in the workplace was linked with lower fertility, might gender equality in the home increase fertility?

Methods:
Using data from the Swedish Young Adult Panel Study (YAPS), we use Cox regression to examine the effects on first, second, and third births of 1) holding attitudes about sharing equally in the care of the home and children, and 2) actual sharing in these domestic tasks.

Results:
Our analysis shows that, measuring attitudes before the transition to parenthood and actual practice four years later, it is inconsistency between sharing attitudes and the actual division of housework that reduces the likelihood of continued childbearing, especially on second births among women.

Conclusions:
As women are most likely to confront an inconsistent situation, with egalitarian ideals in a household without equal sharing, it is clear that having a partner who does not share housework is depressing Swedish fertility.

Old age mortality in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia

November 16, 2013 Comments off

Old age mortality in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Eastern and South-Eastern Asian countries have witnessed a marked decline in old age mortality in recent decades. Yet no studies have investigated the trends and patterns in old age morality and cause-of-death in the region.

Objective:
We reviewed the trends and patterns of old age mortality and cause-of-death for countries in the region.

Methods:
We examined data on old age mortality in terms of life expectancy at age 65 and age-specific death rates from the 2012 Revision of the World Population Prospects for 14 countries in the region (China, Hong Kong, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam) and data on cause-of-death from the WHO for five countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Singapore) from 1980 to 2010.

Results:
While mortality transitions in these populations took place in different times, and at different levels of socioeconomic development and living environment, changes in their age patterns and sex differentials in mortality showed certain similarities: women witnessed a similar decline to men in spite of their lower mortality, and young elders had a larger decline than the oldest-old. In all five countries examined for cause-of-death, most of the increases in life expectancy at age 65 in both men and women were attributable to declines in mortality from stroke and heart disease. GDP per capita, educational level, and urbanization explained much of the variations in life expectancy and cause-specific mortality, indicating critical contributions of these basic socioeconomic development indicators to the mortality decline over time in the region.

Conclusions:
These findings shed light on the relationship between epidemiological transition, changing age patterns of mortality, and improving life expectancy in these populations.

EU — Youth prospects in a time of economic recession

November 12, 2013 Comments off

Youth prospects in a time of economic recession
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
The paper gives an update to earlier analysis considering youth poverty and transition to adulthood, which is timely given the economic crisis engulfing many countries in Europe. Whereas the crisis is affecting young people in particular, there is also a certain degree of variation across Europe.

Objective:
We document the short-term consequences of the current recession on the transition to adulthood of young Europeans, focusing on two main cornerstones in the transition to adulthood: economic independence and residential autonomy.

Methods:
We use a combination of OECD Employment Statistics for 2012 and micro-level data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) for the period 2005-2011 for 24 countries.

Results:
We document an increase in economic hardship experienced by young adults in several European countries during the recession, which is starting to translate into higher rates of co-residence with parents, hence delaying the process of leaving home and gaining economic independence.

Conclusions:
The way countries are reacting to the recession is not yet clear-cut, but economic uncertainty and deprivation is on the rise in those countries hardest hit, which is likely to delay the key markers of transition to adulthood.

Putting on the moves: Individual, household, and community-level determinants of residential mobility in Canada

October 10, 2013 Comments off

Putting on the moves: Individual, household, and community-level determinants of residential mobility in Canada
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Internal residential mobility is an important contributor to economic vitality, helping to address gaps in the labour market, assisting regions to develop comparative advantages, and encouraging the circulation of skills, capital, and networks within a country. Mobility is, however, a complex sociological phenomenon influenced by individual, household, and community-level variables.

Objective:
This article examines the combined impact of individual, household, and community characteristics on both short- and long-distance residential mobility in Canada. The study is motivated by a broader concern with economic development and community vitality, particularly in smaller towns and cities that have recently struggled to attract newcomers.

Methods:
A series of multilevel random intercept regression models are run on Canadian census data from 2006. Canada-wide findings are compared to those for five sizes of community – from small towns with fewer than 10,000 people to major metropolitan cities.

Results:
Despite the continued growth of major metropolitan areas, city size is not an attractor in and of itself. Rather, one of the most powerful draws for both small towns and large cities is the diversity of the existing population, as measured by the proportion of residents who are immigrants and/or visible minorities.

Conclusions:
These findings challenge some long-held stereotypes about rural living, and suggest that rural development strategies ought to include measures for enhancing diversity as a means of attracting all types of internal migrants to small towns and cities.

Age groups and the measure of population aging

September 30, 2013 Comments off

Age groups and the measure of population aging
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Measures of population aging are important because they shape our perception of demographic trends. Indicators of aging based on fixed ages contributed to a dramatic portrayal of demographic evolutions, some of which were associated with the myth of decline.

Objective:
We propose a new measure of population aging, based on the relative age of each individual in the population. Our approach builds on previous work by Aghevli and Mehran (1981) and relies on optimal grouping techniques that are used to determine the various age groups within a population. The cutoff ages for these groups, such as the age from which an individual is considered to be an older person, are then endogenous variables that depend on the entire population age distribution at any given moment.

Methods:
We show how to apply optimal grouping techniques to age distributions and how to calculate various indicators of aging, which are invariant with respect to proportional rescaling of distributions. We compute these indicators for the US, and a sample of 13 other industrialized countries.

Results:
We find that, contrary to common arguments for an aging population, the share of elderly individuals within the total population has not increased much, and has remained stable in these countries. These results complement and reinforce the earlier findings of Sanderson and Scherbov (2005, 2007) who also reassessed the aging phenomenon.

Explaining the rural-urban gap in infant mortality in India

September 27, 2013 Comments off

Explaining the rural-urban gap in infant mortality in India
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Prior studies suggest that infant mortality in rural areas of India is substantially higher than in urban areas. However, little is known about the determinants explaining such excess of rural mortality.

Objective:
This study systematically assesses the role of socioeconomic and maternal and child health (MCH) care-related programme factors in explaining the rural-urban gap in infant mortality during the past two decades.

Methods:
Long-term changes in rural and urban infant mortality were assessed using Sample Registration System (SRS) data. Binary logistic regression was used to analyse the association between socioeconomic and MCH care-related programme factors and infant mortality using data from the three rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS). Fairlie’s decomposition technique was applied to understand the relative contribution of different co-variates to the rural-urban gap in infant mortality.

Results:
Relative inequality between rural and urban India has increased over time. The rural-urban gap in infant mortality can be largely explained by the distributions of the co-variates in rural and urban area. The largest part of the rural disadvantage in infant mortality is attributable to the underlying disadvantage in household wealth and maternal education, whereas breastfeeding and knowledge of Oral Rehydration Solution has contributed to narrowing the gap. The share of women using modern contraceptive methods and the percentage of fully vaccinated children in the community have also contributed to widening the rural-urban gap in infant mortality.

Conclusions:
In addition to strengthening MCH programmes in rural areas, substantial efforts must also be made to improve household wealth and female education levels.

The fragility of the future and the tug of the past: Longevity in Latin America and the Caribbean

September 24, 2013 Comments off

The fragility of the future and the tug of the past: Longevity in Latin America and the Caribbean
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
The cohorts who will reach age 60 after 2010 in the Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC) are beneficiaries of a massive mortality decline that began as early as 1930. The bulk of this decline is due to the diffusion of low-cost medical technologies that improved recovery rates from infectious diseases. This decline has led to distinct changes in the composition of elderly cohorts, especially as those who could experience as adults the negative effects of adverse early conditions survive to old age.

Objective:
Our goal is to compute the bounds for the size of the effects on old-age mortality of changes in cohorts’ composition by their exposure to adverse early conditions. We calculate estimates for countries in the LAC region that span the entire range of the post-1950 mortality decline.

Methods:
We use counterfactual population projections to estimate the bounds of the changes in the composition of cohorts by their exposure to adverse early conditions. These are combined with the empirical effects of adverse early conditions on adult mortality to generate estimates of foregone gains in life expectancy at age 60.

Results:
According to somewhat conservative assumptions, life expectancy at age 60 will at best increase much more slowly than in the past, and will at worst reach a steady state or decline. The foregone gains may be as high as 20% of the projected values over a period of 30 to 50 years; i.e., the time it takes for cohorts who reaped the benefits of the secular mortality decline to become extinct.

Conclusions:
The changing composition of cohorts by early exposures represents a powerful force that could drag down or halt short-run progress in life expectancy at older ages.

Delayed entry into first marriage and marital stability: Further evidence on the Becker-Landes-Michael hypothesis

September 20, 2013 Comments off

Delayed entry into first marriage and marital stability: Further evidence on the Becker-Landes-Michael hypothesis
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
In their pioneering research, Becker, Landes, and Michael (1977) found that beyond age 30 there is a positive relationship between women’s age at first marriage and marital instability. They interpreted this finding as a “poor-match effect” emerging when the biological clock begins to tick.

Objective:
Our objective was to ascertain with more recent data whether or not there is evidence of a poor match effect and if so, whether it is associated with higher marital instability.

Methods:
We used data on non-Hispanic white women from the 2006-2010 National Surveys of Family Growth (NSFG) (N = 3,184).

Results:
We found evidence of the existence of a poor-match effect: women who delay marriage disproportionately make unconventional matches, which are generally associated with high marital instability. We also found, however, that their unions are very solid. Both of these results were consistent with earlier findings for the 1995 and 2002-2003 NSFG cycles. In attempting to explain this puzzle, we proposed and tested competing hypotheses. We found that the destabilizing effects associated with indicators of unconventional matches are also present in marriages contracted late, but are dwarfed by the stabilizing influences associated with higher levels of education and older ages.

Conclusions:
This paper contributes to our understanding of the determinants of marital instability and the poor match effect by providing a new interpretation for the puzzle described above.

Comments:
Our findings have implications for analyses of changes over time in the extent of positive assortative mating in the marriage market, and for the extensive literature showing that heterogamy in traits that are complementary in the context of marriage is destabilizing — heterogamous marriages contracted at a late age are likely to be stable.

Minor gradient in mortality by education at the highest ages: An application of the Extinct-Cohort method

September 18, 2013 Comments off

Minor gradient in mortality by education at the highest ages: An application of the Extinct-Cohort method
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Socioeconomic mortality differentials are known to exist almost universally. Many studies show a trend towards convergence with increasing age. Information about the highest ages is very rare, though.

Objective:
We want to find out whether socioeconomic factors determine the chance of death in the United States among the oldest people.

Methods:
Based on official death count records, we employ the extinct cohort method to estimate the age-specific probability of dying by level of education.

Results:
We present evidence that socioeconomic differentials in mortality exist even at the highest ages (95+), although the gap is small.

Comments:
To our knowledge, this is the first population-based study to analyze socioeconomic mortality differentials at ages 95 and higher. We present, furthermore, a novel field of application for the extinct cohort method.

An examination of black/white differences in the rate of age-related mortality increase

September 11, 2013 Comments off

An examination of black/white differences in the rate of age-related mortality increase
Source: Demographic Research

Background: The rate of mortality increase with age among adults is typically used as a measure of the rate of functional decline associated with aging or senescence. While black and white populations differ in the level of mortality, mortality also rises less rapidly with age for blacks than for whites, leading to the well-known black/white mortality “crossover”.

Objective: This paper investigates black/white differences in the rate of mortality increase with age for major causes of death in order to examine the factors responsible for the black/white crossover.

Methods: The analysis considers two explanations for the crossover: selective survival and age misreporting. Mortality is modeled using a Gompertz model for 11 causes of death from ages 50-84 among blacks and whites by sex.

Results: Mortality increases more rapidly with age for whites than for blacks for nearly all causes of death considered. The all-cause mortality rate of mortality increase is nearly two percentage points higher for whites. The analysis finds evidence for both selective survival and age misreporting, although age misreporting is a more prominent explanation among women.

Conclusions: The black/white mortality crossover reflects large differences in the rate of age-related mortality increase. Instead of reflecting the impact of specific causes of death, this pattern exists across many disparate disease conditions, indicating the need for a broad explanation.

Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?

September 5, 2013 Comments off

Do small labor market entry cohorts reduce unemployment?
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Germany, like many OECD countries, faces a shift in the age composition of its population, and will face an even more drastic demographic change in the years ahead. From a theoretical point of view, decreasing cohort sizes may on the one hand reduce unemployment due to inverse cohort crowding or, on the other hand, increase unemployment if companies reduce jobs disproportionately. Consequently, the actual effect of cohort shrinkage on employment and unemployment is an empirical question.

Objective:
We quantitatively assess the relationship between (un)employment and cohort sizes.

Methods:
We analyze a long panel of population and labor-market data for Western German labor market regions. We isolate the direct, statistical effect of aging in a decomposition approach and estimate the overall effect by regression. In this context, we account for the likely endogeneity of cohort size due to migration of the young workforce across regions using lagged births as instrument.

Results:
The direct effect of the age composition of the labor force on unemployment is negligible. In contrast, the elasticities of unemployment and employment with regard to the labor-market entry cohort’s size are significantly positive or negative, respectively. The causal effect indicates an over-elastic reaction by unemployment.

Conclusions:
Our results provide good news for the Western German labor market: small entry cohorts are indeed likely to decrease the overall unemployment rate and thus to improve the situation of job seekers. Accordingly, we find the employment rate is positively affected by a decrease in the youth proportion.

Family dynamics and housing: Conceptual issues and empirical findings

September 4, 2013 Comments off

Family dynamics and housing: Conceptual issues and empirical findings
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
In this reflection I discuss my conceptual ideas and the latest empirical findings regarding the connections between leaving the parental home, marriage, parenthood, and separation on the one hand, and housing on the other. I also discuss the limitations of the research and directions for future research.

Conclusions:
Parental housing of good quality keeps specific categories of potential nest-leavers in the parental home, but is also positively associated with the likelihood of young adults starting their housing careers as homeowners. The connections between housing and marriage and between housing and parenthood can be characterized using the concepts of housing space, quality, and safety or security – all three of which married couples and families need more than singles – and flexibility, which couples and families need less. These four needs are strongly subject to social norms. There is a strong tendency for married couples and prospective families to move into home ownership and higher quality homes. Separation tends to lead ex-partners with lower moving costs and fewer resources to move from the joint home, and tends to lead to a longer lasting decrease in housing quality, particularly for women. Future research could focus on the impact of housing on the transformation of dating partnerships into co-residential partnerships, the impact of housing quality and home ownership on the quality of partner relationships, partnership and housing histories rather than single events and short-term effects, unraveling the causal connections between family and housing, and incorporating the impact of the socio-spatial context in the research.

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