Mortality -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Water -- Purification -- Health aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Urban health -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Mortality rates in the United States fell more rapidly during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries than in any other period in American history. This decline coincided with an epidemiological transition and the disappearance of a mortality "penalty" associated with living in urban areas. There is little empirical evidence and much unresolved debate about what caused these improvements, however. In this article, we report the causal influence of clean water technologies—filtration and chlorination—on mortality in major cities during the early twentieth century. Plausibly exogenous variation in the timing and location of technology adoption was used to identify these effects, and the validity of this identifying assumption is examined in detail. We found that clean water was responsible for nearly half the total mortality reduction in major cities, three quarters of the infant mortality reduction, and nearly two thirds of the child mortality reduction. Rough calculations suggest that the social rate of return to these technologies was greater than 23 to 1, with a cost per person-year saved by clean water of about $500 in 2003 dollars. Implications for developing countries are briefly considered.
In the study reported here, I had two objectives: (1) to test a new version of the logistic model for the pattern of change over time in age-specific adult mortality rates and (2) to develop a new method for projecting future trends in adult mortality. A test of the goodness of fit of the logistic model for the force of mortality indicated that its slope parameter is nearly constant over time. This finding suggests a variant of the model that is called the shifting logistic model. A new projection method, based on the shifting mortality model, is proposed and compared with the widely used Lee-Carter procedure.
Duncan, Greg J.
Rosenbaum, James E., 1943-
Residential mobility -- Illinois -- Chicago Metropolitan Area -- Longitudinal studies.
African Americans -- Housing -- Illinois -- Chicago Metropolitan Area -- Longitudinal studies.
We examined whether the Gautreaux residential mobility program, which moved poor black volunteer families who were living in inner-city Chicago into more-affluent and integrated neighborhoods, produced long-run improvements in the neighborhood environments of the participants. We found that although all the participants moved in the 6 to 22 years since their initial placements, they continued to reside in neighborhoods with income levels that matched those of their placement neighborhoods. Families who were placed in higher-income, mostly white neighborhoods were currently living in the most-affluent neighborhoods. Families who were placed in lower-crime and suburban locations were most likely to reside in low-crime neighborhoods years later.
Single-parent families -- United States -- Economic conditions.
African American families -- United States -- Economic conditions.
This article examines whether the economic consequences of growing up in a single-parent family differ for black children and white children. It is important to understand whether the costs differ across racial groups because although much of the rhetoric about poor single-parent families focuses on inner-city blacks, most children who live in such families are white. If the costs of living with only one parent vary across groups, then policies that are aimed at reducing the costs that do not acknowledge this variation will not target resources efficiently. We found that the economic costs of living with a single parent are larger for black children than for white children. Most of the discrepancy can be attributed to differences in remarriage rates, marital stability, welfare participation, and female labor supply.
The problem of determining cause and effect is one of the oldest in the social sciences, where laboratory experimentation is generally not possible. This article provides a perspective on the analysis of causal relationships in population research that draws upon recent discussions of this issue in the field of economics. Within economics, thinking about causal estimation has shifted dramatically in the past decade toward a more pessimistic reading of what is possible and a retreat in the ambitiousness of claims of causal determination. In this article, the framework that underlies this conclusion is presented, the central identification problem is discussed in detail, and examples from the field of population research are given. Some of the more important aspects of this framework are related to the problem of the variability of causal effects for different individuals; the relationships among structural forms, reduced forms, and knowledge of mechanisms; the problem of internal versus external validity and the related issue of extrapolation; and the importance of theory and outside evidence.
Forest fires -- Health aspects -- Indonesia -- Kalimantan.
Forest fires -- Health aspects -- Indonesia -- Sumatra.
We combined data from a population-based longitudinal survey with satellite measures of aerosol levels to assess the impact of smoke from forest fires that blanketed the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan and Sumatra in late 1997 on adult health. To account for unobserved differences between haze and nonhaze areas, we compared changes in the health of individual respondents. Between 1993 and 1997, individuals who were exposed to haze experienced greater increases in difficulty with activities of daily living than did their counterparts in nonhaze areas. The results for respiratory and general health, although more complicated to interpret, suggest that haze had a negative impact on these dimensions of health.
United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects.
Immigrants -- Education -- United States.
Current immigration research has revealed little about how immigrants compare to those who do not migrate. Although most scholars agree that migrants are not random samples of their home countries' populations, the direction and degree of educational selectivity is not fully understood. This study of 32 U.S. immigrant groups found that although nearly all immigrants are more educated than those who remain in their home countries, immigrants vary substantially in their degree of selectivity, depending upon the origin country and the timing of migration. Uncovering patterns of immigrant selectivity reveals the fallacy in attributing immigrants' characteristics to national groups as a whole and may help explain socioeconomic differences among immigrant groups in the United States.
United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Economic aspects.
Mexico -- Emigration and immigration -- Economic aspects.
Alien labor -- United States.
In this article, we present and test a model that incorporates education-occupation matching into the migration decision. The literature on education-occupation matching shows that earnings are affected by how individuals' education matches that required by their occupation. Accordingly, individuals with more schooling than required by their occupation have an additional incentive to migrate: the increase in earnings that occurs with a more beneficial education-occupation match. Using data from Mexico, we found statistical support for the importance of education-occupation matching in migration decisions. Education-occupation matching provides a plausible explanation for the mixed findings in the literature on the relationship between educational attainment and migration.
Research on child survival and health has indicated disparities between boys and girls in selected Middle Eastern countries. Health disparities in later life are understudied in this region. In this article, we examine differences between women and men in later-life activity limitation in Egypt and Tunisia. Difficulty executing physical tasks is more common for women than for men in both study sites, although differences are smaller after adjustment for underlying illness. Differences in the difficulty of executing physical tasks also are sensitive to environmental controls in variable ways across the study sites. The findings caution against the sole use of reported disability in comparative studies of gender and aging.