Volume 43, Number 2, May 2006


    Liefbroer, Aart C.
    Dourleijn, Edith.
  • Unmarried Cohabitation and Union Stability: Testing the Role of Diffusion Using Data From 16 European Countries
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    Subject Headings:
    • Unmarried couples -- Europe.
    • Marriage -- Europe.
    • Divorce -- Europe.
      Cohabitors and married people who cohabited before marriage have higher risks of union dissolution than people who married without prior cohabitation. However, these differences in union stability vary markedly between countries. We hypothesize that the impact of cohabitation on union stability depends on how far cohabitation has diffused within a society. We test this hypothesis with data from 16 European countries. The results support our hypothesis: former cohabitors run a higher risk of union dissolution than people who married without prior cohabitation only in societies in which cohabitation is a small minority or a large majority phenomenon.
    Lichter, Daniel T.
    Qian, Zhenchao.
    Mellott, Leanna M.
  • Marriage or Dissolution? Union Transitions Among Poor Cohabiting Women
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    Subject Headings:
    • Unmarried couples -- United States.
    • Marriage -- United States.
    • Poor women -- United States.
      The objective of this paper is to identify the incentives and barriers to marriage among cohabiting women, especially disadvantaged mothers who are targets of welfare reform. We use the newly released cohabitation data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1979–2000), which tracks the partners of cohabiting women across survey waves. Our results support several conclusions. First, cohabiting unions are short-lived—about one-half end within one year, and over 90% end by the fifth year. Unlike most previous research, our results show that most cohabiting unions end by dissolution of the relationship rather than by marriage. Second, transitions to marriage are especially unlikely among poor women; less than one-third marry within five years. Cohabitation among poor women is more likely than that among nonpoor women to be a long-term alternative or substitute for traditional marriage. Third, our multinomial analysis of transitions from cohabitation into marriage or dissolution highlights the salience of economically disadvantaged family backgrounds, cohabitation and fertility histories, women's economic resources, and partner characteristics. These results are interpreted in a policy environment that increasingly views marriage as an economic panacea for low-income women and their children.
    Gray, Jo Anna.
    Stockard, Jean.
    Stone, Joe Allan, 1948-
  • The Rising Share of Nonmarital Births: Fertility Choice or Marriage Behavior?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Illegitimate children -- United States -- Statistics -- Mathematical models.
    • Childbirth -- United States -- Statistics -- Mathematical models.
    • Fertility, Human -- United States -- Statistics -- Mathematical models.
      Much of the sharp rise in the share of nonmarital births in the United States has been attributed to changes in the fertility choices of unmarried and married women—in response, it is often argued, to public policy. In contrast, we develop and test a model that attributes the rise to changes in marriage behavior, with no necessary changes in fertility. A variety of empirical tests strongly support this conclusion and invites focused attention to issues related to marriage behavior as well as to the interactions between marriage and fertility.
    Andersson, Gunnar, 1962-
    Hank, Karsten.
    Rønsen, Marit.
    Vikat, Andres.
  • Gendering Family Composition: Sex Preferences for Children and Childbearing Behavior in the Nordic Countries
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sex of children, Parental preferences for -- Scandinavia.
      It has been argued that a society's gender system may influence parents' sex preferences for children. If this is true, one should expect to find no evidence of such preferences in countries with a high level of gender equality. In this article, we exploit data from population registers from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden to examine continuities and changes in parental sex preferences in the Nordic countries during the past three to four decades. First, we do not observe an effect of the sex of the firstborn child on second-birth risks. Second, we detect a distinct preference for at least one child of each sex among parents of two children. For third births, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish parents seem to develop a preference for having a daughter, while Finns exhibit a significant preference for having a son. These findings show that modernization and more equal opportunities for women and men do not necessarily lead to parental gender indifference. On the contrary, they may even result in new sex preferences.
    Lee, Jungmin.
    Paik, Myungho.
  • Sex Preferences and Fertility in South Korea During the Year of the Horse
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sex of children, Parental preferences for -- Korea (South)
    • Fertility, Human -- Korea (South) -- Statistics.
      Since antiquity, people in several East Asian countries, such as China, Japan, and South Korea, have believed that a person is destined to possess specific characteristics according to the sign of the zodiac under which he or she was born. South Koreans, in particular, have traditionally considered that the year of the Horse bears inauspicious implications for the birth of daughters. Using monthly longitudinal data at the region level in South Korea between 1970 and 2003, we found that in the year of the Horse, the sex ratio at birth significantly increased while fertility decreased.
    Kishor, Sunita.
    Johnson, Kiersten.
  • Reproductive Health and Domestic Violence: Are the Poorest Women Uniquely Disadvantaged?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Family violence -- Cambodia.
    • Family violence -- Dominican Republic.
    • Family violence -- Haiti.
    • Reproductive health -- Cambodia.
    • Reproductive health -- Dominican Republic.
    • Reproductive health -- Haiti.
      We use Demographic and Health Survey data from Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to compare women in different poverty and violence categories in terms of their experience of selected reproductive health outcomes. "Poor" women are those who belong to the bottom quintile of households arrayed according to a widely accepted asset-based wealth index. The results suggest that women who are both poor and have experienced violence are not unique in their reproductive health disadvantage. In particular, for all three reproductive health outcomes we consider, the negative association with having experienced violence cuts across all women, poor and wealthy.
    Swann, Christopher A.
    Sylvester, Michelle Sheran.
  • The Foster Care Crisis: What Caused Caseloads to Grow?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Foster home care -- United States.
    • Public welfare -- United States.
    • Children of women prisoners -- United States.
      Foster care caseloads more than doubled from 1985 to 2000. This article provides the first comprehensive study of this growth by relating state-level foster care caseloads to state-specific characteristics and policies. We present evidence that increases in female incarcerations and reductions in cash welfare benefits played dominant roles in explaining the growth in foster care caseloads over this period. Our results highlight the need for child welfare policies designed specifically for the children of incarcerated parents and parents who are facing less generous welfare programs.
    Antecol, Heather.
    Bedard, Kelly.
  • Unhealthy Assimilation: Why Do Immigrants Converge to American Health Status Levels?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Immigrants -- Health and hygiene -- United States.
    • Body mass index -- United States.
      It is well documented that immigrants are in better health upon arrival in the United States than their American counterparts but that this health advantage erodes over time. We study the potential determinants of this "healthy immigrant effect," with a particular focus on the tendency of immigrants to converge to unhealthy American BMI levels. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, we find that average female and male immigrants enter the United States with BMIs that are approximately two and five percentage points lower than native-born women and men, respectively. Consistent with the declining health status of immigrants the longer they remain in the United States, we also find that female immigrants almost completely converge to American BMIs within 10 years of arrival, and men close a third of the gap within 15 years.
    Van Hook, Jennifer V. W.
    Zhang, Weiwei.
    Bean, Frank D.
    Passel, Jeffrey S.
  • Foreign-Born Emigration: A New Approach and Estimates Based on Matched CPS Files
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    Subject Headings:
    • Return migration -- United States -- Mathematical models.
      The utility of postcensal population estimates depends on the adequate measurement of four major components of demographic change: fertility, mortality, immigration, and emigration. Of the four components, emigration, especially of the foreign-born, has proved the most difficult to gauge. Without "direct" methods (i.e., methods identifying who emigrates and when), demographers have relied on indirect approaches, such as residual methods. Residual estimates, however, are sensitive to inaccuracies in their constituent parts and are particularly ill-suited for measuring the emigration of recent arrivals. Here we introduce a new method for estimating foreign-born emigration that takes advantage of the sample design of the Current Population Survey (CPS): repeated interviews of persons in the same housing units over a period of 16 months. Individuals appearing in a first March Supplement to the CPS but not the next include those who died in the intervening year, those who moved within the country, and those who emigrated. We use statistical methods to estimate the proportion of emigrants among those not present in the follow-up interview. Our method produces emigration estimates that are comparable to those from residual methods in the case of longer-term residents (immigrants who arrived more than 10 years ago), but yields higher-and what appear to be more accurate-estimates for recent arrivals. Although somewhat constrained by sample size, we also generate estimates by age, sex, region of birth, and duration of residence in the United States.
    Mohai, Paul.
    Saha, Robin.
  • Reassessing Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Environmental Justice Research
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hazardous waste sites -- United States.
    • Environmental justice -- United States.
      The number of studies examining racial and socioeconomic disparities in the geographic distribution of environmental hazards and locally unwanted land uses has grown considerably over the past decade. Most studies have found statistically significant racial and socioeconomic disparities associated with hazardous sites. However, there is considerable variation in the magnitude of racial and socioeconomic disparities found; indeed, some studies have found none. Uncertainties also exist about the underlying causes of the disparities. Many of these uncertainties can be attributed to the failure of the most widely used method for assessing environmental disparities to adequately account for proximity between the hazard under investigation and nearby residential populations. In this article, we identify the reasons for and consequences of this failure and demonstrate ways of overcoming these shortcomings by using alternate, distance-based methods. Through the application of such methods, we show how assessments about the magnitude and causes of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the distribution of hazardous sites are changed. In addition to research on environmental inequality, we discuss how distance-based methods can be usefully applied to other areas of demographic research that explore the effects of neighborhood context on a range of social outcomes.

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