Archive for the ‘Demographic Research’ Category

Modelling the constraints on consanguineous marriage when fertility declines

January 30, 2014 Comments off

Modelling the constraints on consanguineous marriage when fertility declines
Source: Demographic Research

Consanguinity – or marriage between close blood relatives, in particular first cousins – is widely practised and even socially encouraged in many countries. However, in the face of fertility transition where the number of cousins eligible to marry declines, how might such constraints on consanguinity develop in the future?

Numerous studies have stated that the practice cannot continue at present levels and in ist present form in the face of fertility transition. However, the future impact of fertility transition on availability of cousins to marry has not yet been quantified.

We perform a simulation exercise using past and projected net reproduction rates (NRRs) derived from the UN. We calculate the average number of cousins of the opposite sex as a function of the average number of children, the average probability of an individual having at least one eligible paternal cousin of the opposite sex, and conclude with an examination of constraints on consanguineous marriage in selected countries under different fertility assumptions.

Current and projected fertility levels in Middle Eastern countries will create challenging constraints on the custom once today’s birth cohorts reach marriageable age.

Either consanguinity prevalence will diminish significantly, or the institution will be forced to adapt by becoming more coercive in the face of reduced choice or at the expense of other social preferences (such as for an older groom wedding a younger bride). Fertility decline affects prospects for social change not only through its well-known consequences for mothers but also through shaping marriage conditions for the next generation.

All tied up: Tied staying and tied migration within the United States, 1997 to 2007

October 15, 2013 Comments off

All tied up: Tied staying and tied migration within the United States, 1997 to 2007
Source: Demographic Research

The family migration literature presumes that women are cast into the role of the tied migrant. However, clearly identifying tied migrants is a difficult empirical task since it requires the identification of a counterfactual: Who moved but did not want to?

This research develops a unique methodology to directly identify both tied migrants and tied stayers in order to investigate their frequency and determinants.

Using data from the 1997 through 2009 U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), propensity score matching is used to match married individuals with comparable single individuals to create counterfactual migration behaviors: who moved but would not have moved had they been single (tied migrants) and who did not move but would have moved had they been single (tied stayers).

Tied migration is relatively rare and not limited just to women: rates of tied migration are similar for men and women. However, tied staying is both more common than tied migration and equally experienced by men and women. Consistent with the body of empirical evidence, an analysis of the determinants of tied migration and tied staying demonstrates that family migration decisions are imbued with gender.

Additional research is warranted to validate the unique methodology developed in this paper and to confirm its results. One line of future research should be to examine the effects of tied staying, along with tied migration, on well-being, union stability, employment, and earnings.

Changing Patterns of Tobacco and Alcohol Co-Use by Gender in the United States, 1976-2010

March 26, 2013 Comments off

Changing Patterns of Tobacco and Alcohol Co-Use by Gender in the United States, 1976-2010

Source: Demographic Research


Smoking is a serious health concern both globally and in the U.S. Because drinking amplifies the negative health effects of smoking, the high association of these behaviors is an additional source of population morbidity. However, very little is known about trends in the co-use of smoking and drinking over time.


To describe trends in tobacco use, alcohol use, and their co-use among U.S. youth, and to separate out trends in the association of smoking and drinking from trends in their marginal distributions.


We use data on the smoking and drinking behaviors of 12th graders from 1976 to 2010 in the Monitoring the Future study to examine trends in smoking, drinking, and co-use separately by gender. In each year we estimate the degree of co-use attributable to tobacco and alcohol use probabilities as well as the association between tobacco and alcohol use.


Although the prevalence of tobacco and alcohol co-use has declined over time, the association of the two has increased. This association accounts for an increasing proportion of the co-use of tobacco and alcohol.


We conclude that co-users of tobacco and alcohol are an increasingly select subpopulation. This suggests that continued decreases in the contribution of substance use to population health and mortality may not continue apace.

How do immigrants fare during the downturn? Evidence from matching comparable natives

February 12, 2013 Comments off

How do immigrants fare during the downturn? Evidence from matching comparable natives

Source: Demographic Research

Background: This paper provides empirical evidence regarding the supposed vulnerability of immigrants to the recent economic downturn.

Objective: Our purpose is to understand whether immigrant workers are suffering more from the downturn and, if so, to disentangle whether this is related to being an immigrant or to specific characteristics that make immigrants different from natives.

Methods: We use longitudinal data from the Italian Labour Force Survey to compare immigrant and native workers, matched for observable personal, household, and job characteristics by propensity score methods.

Results: Immigrant workers face a higher probability of ending an ongoing employment spell because their characteristics are more likely associated with higher separation rates, while, when comparing similar workers, differences with natives disappear. In 2009 job separations increased for all male workers, but the impact was stronger for immigrants, mainly because of their characteristics. On the contrary, both groups of female workers showed a slightly lower probability of losing a job in 2009, so that observed differences remained the same before and after the downturn.

Conclusions: The impact of the downturn differs markedly by gender, with only male workers being affected. Among these, immigrants suffer more than natives, as their observable characteristics are more associated with losing a job. When comparing only comparable workers, immigrant status itself has no impact on separation rates.

Educational Differences in Divorce in Japan

January 18, 2013 Comments off

Educational Differences in Divorce in Japan

Source: Demographic Research

Background: Evidence of a negative relationship between educational attainment and divorce in Japan is not consistent with predictions derived from standard theoretical emphases on the costs of divorce.

Objective: Using marital history data from a cross-sectional survey, we estimated educational differences in divorce for two marriage cohorts: 1980-89 and 1990-2005. We also used 14 years of panel survey data to evaluate four possible explanations for the observed negative educational gradient.

Results: Our results confirmed that educational attainment is inversely related to divorce in Japan, and showed that, in contrast to some previous findings, the negative relationship between women’s education and divorce has not become stronger in recent years. Analyses of the panel data provided some support for hypotheses that focused on the role of economic strain and on cultural values regarding reputation or "face," but they also showed that the negative relationship between education and divorce remained strong even after controlling for a range of posited correlates.

Conclusions: Our failure to solve the theoretical puzzle motivating these analyses suggests that other types of contextual modification to standard theories of family change are required to explain the strong negative relationship between educational attainment and divorce in Japan. We discussed possible examples of such modifications, focusing on the patterns of selection into marriage and the central importance of investment in children’s educational success in Japan’s highly competitive educational system, while also offering more nuanced theorization regarding the role of reputation or "face".

Residence and teenage birth rates: A potential non-stationary process in US counties

September 11, 2012 Comments off

Residence and teenage birth rates: A potential non-stationary process in US counties

Source: Demographic Research


Limited information is available about teenage pregnancy and childbearing in rural areas, even though approximately 20 percent of the nation’s youth live in rural areas. Identifying whether there are differences in the teenage birth rate (TBR) across metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas is important because these differences may reflect modifiable ecological-level influences such as education, employment, laws, healthcare infrastructure, and policies that could potentially reduce the TBR.


The goals of this study are to investigate whether there are spatially varying relationships between the TBR and the independent variables, and if so, whether these associations differ between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan counties.


We explore the heterogeneity within metropolitan/nonmetropolitan county groups separately using geographically weighted regression (GWR), and investigate the difference between metropolitan/nonmetropolitan counties using spatial regime models with spatial errors. These analyses were applied to county-level data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the US Census Bureau.


GWR results suggested that non-stationarity exists in the associations between TBR and determinants within metropolitan/nonmetropolitan groups. The spatial regime analysis indicated that the effect of socioeconomic disadvantage on TBR significantly varied by the metropolitan status of counties.


While the spatially varying relationships between the TBR and independent variables were found within each metropolitan status of counties, only the magnitude of the impact of the socioeconomic disadvantage index is significantly stronger among metropolitan counties than nonmetropolitan counties. Our findings suggested that place-specific policies for the disadvantaged groups in a county could be implemented to reduce TBR in the US.

The Second Demographic Transition in Israel: One for All?

September 4, 2012 Comments off

The Second Demographic Transition in Israel: One for All?

Source: Demographic Research

This article explores family behaviours and attitudes in Israel over the last decades through the lens of the Second Demographic Transition (SDT). Israel is divided by religious affiliation, the level of religiosity, ethnic origin and timing of immigration. Although fertility transition to replacement level among certain societal groups has been previously shown, the question of how the transition unfolds in other domains remains open. The goal of this paper is to highlight the diversity of marital and fertility transitions and non-transitions among various groups of this heterogeneous society, and to compare Israel’s transitions to European ones. The data sources which are used are cross-national large scale surveys, national representative surveys, and Population Register data. The data were disaggregated by religion, religiousness and ethnic origin. Emancipative value change, postponement of marriage, alternative living arrangements and a growing variety of fertility regimes were analyzed. A full range of pre-transitional, transitional, and post-transitional elements was found among the groups. Such sign of the SDT as growing childlessness was not found, and the spread of other features as unmarried cohabitation and non-marital childbearing was found limited. Population composition effects were isolated. It was found that the level of religiosity and the country of origin are important factors which differentiate family behaviours and attitudes. The connection between value orientation of the groups within Israel and their family behaviours is discussed. The socio-structural and institutional constraints that might impede further progression of the Second Demographic Transition in Israel are also discussed. Further research directions are suggested.