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Local determinants of crime: Do military bases matter?

October 14, 2014 Comments off

Local determinants of crime: Do military bases matter? (PDF)
Source: Demographic Research

BACKGROUND
The majority of crime is committed by young men, and young men comprise the majority of the military – base population. The confluence of these two empirical regularities invites a scientific look at the contribution of a military base to criminal activity in its geographic periphery.

OBJECTIVE
We estimate the impact on criminal activity of the massive base realignments and closures that occurred in Germany for the period 2003 – 2007. In particular, we examine breaking and entering, automobile – related crime, violent crime, and drug – related crime.

METHODS
We use a fixed – effect model to account for time – invariant unobservable elements in a panel of 298 military bases. We also take advantage of geographic information system software to mitigate issues arising from the spatial nature of the dataset.

RESULTS
The estimates indicate that the base realignments and closures did not have a significant impact on criminal activity surrounding base s . Traditional correlates of crime remain statistically significant in our specifications.

CONCLUSIONS
Although crime is largely committed by young men, we find that the closure of military bases, which are staffed primarily by young men, does not have an impact on criminal activity. For matters of regional policy, we find that arguments pertaining to criminal activity generated by milit ary bases are not supported by data

COMMENTS
Economic wellbeing, as measured by real GNP and relative disposable income, is negatively associated with crime. Higher unemployment has a positive association. Regions with higher percentage of foreigners also have higher levels of crime.

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Age patterns of racial/ethnic/nativity differences in disability and physical functioning in the United States

September 21, 2014 Comments off

Age patterns of racial/ethnic/nativity differences in disability and physical functioning in the United States
Source: Demographic Research

Background: Rapid population aging and increasing racial/ethnic and immigrant/native diversity make a broad documentation of U.S. health patterns during both mid- and late life particularly important.

Objective: We aim to better understand age- and gender-specific racial/ethnic and nativity differences in physical functioning and disability among adults aged 50 and above.

Methods: We aggregate 14 years of data from the National Health Interview Survey and calculate age- and gender-specific proportions of physical functioning and two types of disability for each population subgroup.

Results: Middle-aged foreign-born individuals in nearly every subgroup exhibit lower proportions of functional limitations and disability than U.S.-born whites. This pattern of immigrant advantage is generally reversed in later life. Moreover, most U.S.-born minority groups have significantly higher levels of functional limitations and disability than U.S.-born whites in both mid- and late life.

Conclusions: Higher levels of functional limitations and disability among U.S.-born minority groups and immigrant populations in older adulthood pose serious challenges for health providers and policymakers in a rapidly diversifying and aging population.

The residential segregation of detailed Hispanic and Asian groups in the United States: 1980-2010

September 11, 2014 Comments off

The residential segregation of detailed Hispanic and Asian groups in the United States: 1980-2010
Source: Demographic Research

Background:
Racial and ethnic diversity continues to grow in communities across the United States, raising questions about the extent to which different ethnic groups will become residentially integrated.

Objective:
While a number of studies have examined the residential patterns of pan-ethnic groups, our goal is to examine the segregation of several Asian and Hispanic ethnic groups – Cubans, Dominicans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Asian Indians, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese. We gauge the segregation of each group from several alternative reference groups using two measures over the 1980 to 2010 period.

Results:
We find that the dissimilarity of Hispanics and Asians from other groups generally held steady or declined, though, because most Hispanic and Asian groups are growing, interaction with Whites also often declined. Our analyses also indicate that pan-ethnic segregation indexes do not always capture the experience of specific groups. Among Hispanics, Mexicans are typically less residentially segregated (as measured using the dissimilarity index) from Whites, Blacks, Asians, and other Hispanics than are other Hispanic-origin groups. Among Asian ethnic groups, Japanese and Filipinos tend to have lower levels of dissimilarity from Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics than other Asian groups. Examining different dimensions of segregation also indicates that dissimilarity scores alone often do not capture to what extent various ethnic groups are actually sharing neighborhoods with each other. Finally, color lines vary across groups in some important ways, even as the dominant trend has been toward reduced racial and ethnic residential segregation over time.

Conclusions:
The overarching trend is that ethnic groups are becoming more residentially integrated, suggestive of assimilation, though there is significant variation across ethnic groups.

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.

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.

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