Fertility & reproductive health abstracts

Strand organisers: Stuart Basten, University of Oxford, Monica Magadi, University of Hull

Fertility: Partnerships and children - Monday 8 September 1.30pm

The effect of parental leave uptake on second birth hazards in Belgium, France & Germany: a repeated events approach controlling for unobserved heterogeneity
Jonas Wood, Karel Neels, Centre for Longitudinal and Life-course Studies, University of Antwerp

The impact of policy uptake on childbearing has hitherto largely been neglected in most contributions. This paper studies the impact of leave-taking for the first child on second birth hazards in Belgium, France and Germany using a shared frailty approach which allows to control for unobserved heterogeneity. Results show a positive relation between uptake of leave policies and second births. Controlling for selection attenuates the positive association, but the effect remains significant. While leave-taking is much more prevalent among higher educated women, the effect of parental leave on parity progression is similar across educational groups. Although additional efforts are required to distinguish causal effects from self-selection, which presents an ongoing source of concern in research focusing on the effects of family policies, we also identify design features of parental leave schemes and differential uptake of family policies as relevant routes for future research.

Email: jonas.wood@ua.ac.be

The Gender Inequality Crisis in India: Are things really as bad as they seem? Constructing a State level Gender Inequality Index for India
Saffron Brunskill, University of Southampton

National composite measures of gender inequality have become popular tools to monitor the levels of attainment of gender equality, by countries, towards global goals (e.g. MDGs). To better inform national policies, governments would benefit from context specific sub-national measures to identify which areas are falling behind and require greater attention. Building on previous work by Gaye et al. (2010) and the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India (2009), this research develops a state level Gender Inequality Index (GII) for India. Primarily data from the third round of the NFHS is used, with data on maternal mortality obtained from the SRS and parliamentary representation figures sourced from PARLINE. Using methodology developed by Gaye et al (2010), the GII is recast for the states of India, and re-modified to incorporate additional measures of gender inequality using a general means of general means of different orders approach. The state level GII demonstrates a range of scores highlighting vastly different levels of gender inequality across India, from a high score of 0.67 in Bihar to a low, more gender equal score of 0.50 in Kerala. The addition of a son/daughter preference variable to the GII causes the gap in original GII scores to widen, suggesting a greater disparity between overall levels of gender inequality across India. Results suggest that Governments and policy-makers should take a tailored approach to each state; greater resources allocated for gender equality improvements should be made available to those states falling behind the national average.

Email: sab1g08@soton.ac.uk

Patriarchy or development idealism? What matters most for family formation. The case of Albania
Arjan Gjonca, London School of Economics, Arland Thornton, University of Michigan

This paper examines the ways in which development and developmental thinking are related to fertility and marriage change in Albania. The past 70 years have seen radical transformations in many aspects of Albanian society, with other aspects of society remaining fairly constant. While the TFR came down dramatically from 7.0 (1960) to 1.85 (2005) and 1.60 (2012) births per woman, marriage patterns have not changed much. Marriage continues to be universal. 92% of women married by age of 35 (2001). Mean age of first marriage of women changed from 22 to 23 years from 1950 to 2000. The same applies for men, with a MAFM of 27.7 and 28.1 years respectively. Most importantly childbearing still occurs within marriage, with out-of-wedlock fertility being at 0.03% in 2002. While education seems to be the main factor in bringing fertility down, the norms that maintained fertility within marriage seem to persist in determining the family structures. This interplay between new and old norms and behaviour together with the fact that Albania was for decades sealed off from the West make it a unique site for studying the effects of development ideas on family formation and fertility patterns. This paper uses individual collected data on fertility, family formation, values and attitudes as well as data on development thinking and beliefs to address this issue. The initial results show clearly that people in Albania have considerable knowledge of development and see a strong association between socio-economic development and family formation. They also perceive development as influential in determining the future pattern of their fertility and marriage behaviour. In addition, Albanians see low fertility but not an older age at marriage as being an important causal force in producing economic growth. We hypothesize that the beliefs about low fertility being a causal influence on economic growth could help explain the decline in fertility, while the lack of belief in a high age at marriage being a factor in economic growth could help explain the relative stability in age at marriage. 

Email: A.Gjonca@lse.ac.uk

The Marriage Boom and Marriage Bust
J. Jona Schellekens, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The post-war baby boom caused an abrupt break in a century-long fertility decline. At about the same time there also was an unprecedented marriage boom. The marriage boom was a major proximate cause of the baby boom. Nevertheless, there are very few studies of the marriage boom. In the 1970s the marriage boom was followed by a marriage bust. Using US census micro-data this study estimates an age-period-cohort model of first marriage in 1925-79 to test all the major explanations for the marriage boom and bust. Three major findings emerge: (1) Without the rise in real wages there would not have been a marriage boom; (2) Unemployment in the 1930s postponed the marriage boom; (3) During the war female labor-force participation interrupted the marriage boom; and (4) Whereas the marriage boom is mostly a period effect, the marriage bust is mostly an unidentified cohort effect.

Email: jona@mail.huji.ac.il

Reproductive health - Monday 8 September 4.45pm

The economic burden of unsafe abortion for women in Zambia
Tiziana Leone, Ernestina Coast, Divya Parmar, LSE, Susan Murray, Kings College Bellington Vwalika, UTH Zambia

Zambia has one of the most liberal abortion laws in Sub Saharan Africa. Despite this, levels of unsafe abortion are alarmingly high and there is a lack of evidence on the economic burden that unsafe abortion has on women and their households and the potential impact that it could have on poverty. This paper has two aims: to compare the determinants of three possible pathways of patients related with abortion, those who have had: 1.safe abortion (SA); 2. post abortion care (PAC) after an unsafe abortion;3. PAC after using MA (the grey category – who have access to MA outside the health facilities) ; and, to estimate the economic burden of SA and PAC for both categories 2 and 3. The objective is to show the catastrophic impact of unsafe abortion on women's lives. We use hospital based data collected in the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka over a period of 12 months in 2013. Information on women’s demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and direct and indirect costs incurred have been collected and triangulated using medical notes and qualitative information. Preliminary results show that a quarter of women interviewed (n=114) had attempted to terminate the pregnancy unsafely, and were more likely to have a poorer socio-economic background.

Email: t.leone@lse.ac.uk

HIV/AIDS and fertility intentions among women in Kenya
Monica A. Magadi, School of Social Sciences, University of Hull

Although the prevalence of HIV has stabilized or begun to decline in most of sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people living with HIV has continued to grow due to the combined effects of life-prolonging impact of anti-retroviral therapy, and increase in the number of people of reproductive age due to overall high population growth. The high number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) present new challenges to global and national efforts for addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its consequences. There is increasing need to pay attention to the consequences of HIV/AIDS among the large numbers of PLHA. One area of particular concern relates to reproductive experience of those affected. This paper focuses on the association between HIV/AIDS and reproductive preferences among women in Kenya. The analysis is based on nationally representative samples of 7082 women of reproductive age who were tested for HIV during the Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2003 and 2008. The analysis features multilevel logistic regression models that take into account contextual HIV/AIDS community (i.e cluster) effects on fertility preference and allow the HIV/AIDS risk factors to vary across communities. Descriptive results reveal that HIV positive women, those with higher HIV/AIDS awareness or perceived higher risk or HIV infection are significantly more likely to want to stop childbearing compared to their counterparts who are HIV negative of have lower HIV awareness or perceived low risk [Chi-Square p-value<0.01]. Multivariate results reveal interesting pathways through which individual and contextual HIV/AIDS factors may be linked to fertility intentions.

Email: m.magadi@hull.ac.uk

Reproductive health among young girls in slums in Western India: Are mental and reproductive health interconnected?
Sushama Khopkar, H. T. P. Arts and R. Y. K. Sc. College, Nashik, India, Sangita Kulathinal, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, Division of Nutrition, University of Helsinki, Finland, Minna Saavala, Population Research Institute, Vaestoliitto, Helsinki, Finland

Menstrual problems and RTIs are relatively common among unmarried young women in India and they often go untreated. Reproductive health problems are not only problems of somatic health but they may have an important bearing on the mental wellbeing and stress in a social context where unmarried girls are expected to be sexually inexperienced and ignorant. Young girls face cultural and practical obstacles to seeking treatment. In an environment where sexuality is strongly tabooed for unmarried women such as India, reproductive health problems, implying a strong element of shame, may pose also mental health risks and social risks to young girls. This study will contribute to the understudied subject of interlinkages between mental wellbeing and reproductive health of underprivileged adolescents in India. We examine the prevalence of symptoms related to menstrual problems, reproductive tract infections or sexually transmitted diseases among young girls, and whether they are associated with mental wellbeing in a slum context in India. The data derives from a survey in two slums in the city of Nashik, Western India (N=545). Descriptive and statistical analysis of the factors related to adolescent girls’ reproductive health problems in a slum setting are presented. The results show that there is a relationship between the symptoms of sexual and urinary tract problems, the mood of the girl, and her school absences. The results point to the need to propagate hygienic menstrual practices and to raise awareness on girls’ reproductive health concerns. Unmarried girls’ reproductive health problems should be taken into account in health services in slum areas.

Email: minna.saavala@vaestoliitto.fi

Marital Instability and Multiple Sexual Partnerships are Driving HIV Infection in Uganda: Evidence from Multilevel Modelling of Population-based Surveys.
Patrick Igulot, City University, London

Background Marital instability and multiple sexual partnerships are HIV vulnerability factors in Africa. Evidence shows that HIV prevalence is high among people with a marital history and among those engaged in multiple sexual partnerships. However, this evidence is limited to individual level association. This research sought to establish how living in a community with a high proportion of formerly married people and multiple sexual partnerships influence vulnerability to HIV infection in Uganda. Methods The analysis is based on 39766 individual cases with HIV test results and 887 clusters which were sampled in the Uganda HIV/AIDS Indicators Survey conducted in 2004-05 and 2011. Community-level variables were derived from variables that were significant at the individual-level of analysis. Results An increase in the proportion of formerly married people in a community is significantly associated with an increase in the prevalence of HIV (χ2 133.489, [1df] p < 0.001). For multiple/life time sexual partnerships, an increase in the proportion of people with more life time sexual partners in a community is also significantly associated with an increase in the prevalence of HIV (χ2 128.034, [1df] p < 0.001). Conclusion Living in a community with a high proportion of people who were formerly married or cohabiting, and in a community with a high proportion of people with multiple or many life time sexual partners, increases one’s vulnerability to being infected with HIV. HIV prevention policies need to address gender-based inequalities that drive these practices.

Email: Patrick.Igulot.1@city.ac.uk

European fertility - Tuesday 9 September 9.00am

Cohort fertility trends across Europe: commonalities and anomalies
Marion Burkimsher, University of Lausanne

As is well known, the period total fertility rate (TFR) is deflated with postponement of childbearing and gives an under-estimate of how many children women will actually have. I use the method described by Myrskylä, Goldstein and Cheng (2013) to predict ultimate fertility, decomposed birth order, for the 1960-1980 cohorts of women. Fifteen countries with birth-order and age-specific rates, as published in the Human Fertility Database, are analysed. Several conclusions are drawn: • Falls in total fertility between the 1960 and 1970 cohorts were universal, reflected by declines across all birth orders • For successive cohorts of women born 1970-1980, countries followed varied trajectories, some with persistent declines, other stability, and others significant growth • The Czech Republic, Hungary, Portugal and Slovakia saw the largest declines, with the falls mainly being in second and first births • Several ex-communist countries (Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Slovenia), where childlessness used to be rare, have seen a decline in first birth rates in parallel with a rise in higher order births • Bulgaria and Portugal have lower childlessness than would be expected from their overall fertility level, while Finland has a significantly higher fertility level than would be predicted from its high level of childlessness • For those countries which have seen a recent upturn in cohort fertility, the trough occurred around the 1972 cohort • Average completed cohort fertility for the 1960 cohort across all 15 countries is 1.94 and is projected to be 1.76 for the 1980 cohort.

Email: drmarionb@gmail.com

Educational differences in the effect of childbirth on female employment in 10 European countries and their regions
David De Wachter, University of Antwerp

BACKGROUND Maternal employment rates vary considerably between countries. It hides important educational differentials both in labour market attachment and selection into full-time and part-time employment. OBJECTIVE This paper investigates the educational gradient in the effect of childbirth on female employment in 10 European countries and their regions. It further considers the effect of formal and informal childcare. METHODS We use micro-data from the first round of the Generations and Gender Survey. It is supplemented with macro-data from the OECD Family database. The analysis makes use of multilevel multinomial logit models. RESULTS Higher educated women less often leave the labour force after childbirth and predominantly remain full-time employed. Lower educated women more often leave the labour force after childbirth and more rapidly work part-time. The main exceptions are Germany, Austria and the Netherlands where mothers more often work part-time, particularly among higher educated groups. The penalty of childbirth on full-time employment is smallest in countries with strong and weak public support for families with children. However, in countries with weak support, period fertility is quite low, suggesting high levels of work-family conflict. Childcare positively affects female employment and the effect is more articulated for formal than for informal childcare. CONCLUSIONS Childbirth strongly affects female employment, but the effect differs for full-time and part-time work, interacts with education, and varies between countries. This pattern is likely to show increasing diversity given that the recent economic downturn has reduced public spending on family policies and raised economic insecurities, particularly among vulnerable socio-economic groups.

Email: david.dewachter@uantwerpen.be

Cohort trends in childlessness in communist and capitalist Europe
Zuzanna Brzozowska 1, Eva Beaujouan 1, Kryštof Zeman 1,2, 1 Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU), Vienna Institute of Demography/Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2 Warsaw School of Economics

Several studies have documented cross-country trends in ultimate childlessness for women born in the last century (Sardon 2002, Rowland 2007); only few, however, have taken educational attainment into consideration (Andersson et al. 2009). We study here the macro-level relationship between women’s educational expansion and childlessness in various European countries. In particular, we evaluate the educational gradient in childlessness and compare the educational structures of the whole female population and its childless part. Employing standardisation methods we assess the role of educational expansion in the changes in childlessness. We use data from censuses covering five-year female cohorts from 1916-20 to 1961-65 aged 40 to 76 in the following countries: Austria (1991, 2001), the Czech Republic (1991, 2001, 2011), Croatia (2001), France (1982, 1990, 1999 and 2011), Hungary (1990, 2001), Poland (2002), Romania (1992, 2002), Slovenia (2002), Slovakia (2001), Spain (1991), and Switzerland (2000). The results suggest that the trends in childlessness in communist and capitalist Europe were close: in cohorts born before the 1940s the proportion of childless women was declining in all analysed countries, whereas in younger cohorts it was usually going up. Despite a strong positive educational gradient, the trends within educational groups remained relatively close to those in the whole population in most countries. The increasing educational attainment played a minor role in the changes in childlessness levels. With time, childless women were slightly losing their educational selectivity.

Email: zuzanna.brzozowska@oeaw.ac.at

Assessing the contribution of increasing enrolment in education, delayed union formation and adverse economic conditions to fertility postponement in Belgium between 1970 and 2000.
Karel Neels, Sociology Department, University of Antwerp

Delayed childbearing has been a prominent feature of fertility trends in Europe and other developed countries since the 1970s. A recent compilation of published evidence concluded that the main factors to which the underlying trend to later childbearing are attributed are effective contraception, increases in women’s education and labour market participation, value changes, gender equity, partnership changes, housing conditions, economic uncertainty and the absence of supportive family policies. Few studies, however, have attempted to quantify the contribution of any of these factors to aggregate change in fertility timing. Using maternity histories for women aged 14 and older in the 2001 census we quantify how prolonged enrolment in education, delayed union formation and economic context have contributed to rising mean ages at parenthood (MAC1) and the decline of the synthetic parity progression ratio to first births (SPPR1) in Belgium between 1970 and 2000. Results indicate that although prolonged enrolment and delayed union formation have contributed to the gradual increase of MAC1 and the gradual decline of SPPR1, these factors cannot account for the acceleration and/or deceleration of trends over the period considered. Variation in economic context and the negative impact of increased unemployment rates on family formation in predominantly younger age groups, however, are key to understanding the accelerated decline of first birth rates in the mid 1980s and mid 1990s, as well as the short-lived recovery of birth rates around 1991.

Email: Karel.Neels@uantwerpen.be

Fertility - Tuesday 9 September 11.00am

Using genetic markers as instrumental variables to the link between education and fertility
Nicola Barban 1, Melinda Mills 1, Jornt Mandemakers 2, Harold Snieder 2,3, 1 University of Oxford, 2 University of Groningen, 3 University medical center Groningen

The relationship between education and fertility has been a central focus within demography and related social sciences. Higher education is often associated with higher age at first birth and lower number of children, especially among women. The goal of this paper is to dig deeper into the relationship between education and fertility and explore the causal relationship by using genetic markers as instrumental variables. Specifically, by using the genetic markers for educational attainment from a recent GWAS (genome-wide association study), we attempt to unravel the causal relationship between education and age at first birth (AFB), number of children ever born (NEB) and childlessness. Our results using data from three large samples in contemporaneous western populations (LifeLines, TwinsUk and HRS) show that education is causally linked to higher age at first birth and decrease in childlessness but not to fertility. We suggest that the observed association between education and fertility is mainly affected by unobservable factors.

Email: nicola.barban@gmail.com

Fertility and Family Policy: An Intersectional Perspective
Wendy Sigle-Rushton, London School of Economics

In this paper, I argue that demographic research would benefit from a more conscious consideration of a wider range of theoretical perspectives. To illustrate what I mean, I focus primarily on one (broad and flexible) critical analytic concept – intersectionality – and one key area of inquiry: the relationship between family policy and fertility. The analysis demonstrates how intersectionality, when used as a standard against which we can interrogate our methodology, can be used to guide a critical assessment of the analytic strategies we employ and the relevance of the evidence we produce. My main point is not that everyone should adopt and apply the particular conceptual tool that I utilize here, but rather that demography would benefit from the adoption of a wider range of tools, concepts and perspectives, which, in one way or another, invite (more) critical reflection.

Email: w.sigle-rushton@lse.ac.uk

What has divided industrialised countries into the ‘very low fertility’ group and ‘moderately low fertility’ group? : An examination of historical and cultural backgrounds and ‘couple culture’
Ryuzaburo Sato, Miho Iwasawa, Motomi Beppu, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research

Today’s industrialised countries are divided into two groups on the basis of total fertility level (TFR): (1) ‘very low fertility’ countries in which the TFR is less than 1.5 and (2) ‘moderately low fertility’ countries with a TFR more than 1.5. The two groups show a clear geographic distribution pattern. After reconfirming this trend using the latest statistics, this paper examines the causes of this divide by focusing on historical and cultural backgrounds, especially the ‘couple culture’, which is assumed from the viewpoint of sexuality. First, we notice that the two groups parallel to World War Two’s (1) fascist states (Japan, Germany and Italy) and the Soviet Union and its neighbouring states, and (2) the Allies (the UK, France, USA, etc.), excluding the USSR. This implies that the two groups correspond to late and early starters in modernisation characterised by industrial revolution, bourgeois revolution and the formation of nation states. Second, we point out that the robustness of couple formation without regard to marital status brakes fertility decline in moderately low fertility countries. Conversely, it suggests the weakness of ‘couple culture’ in very low fertility countries. Based on observation in Japan, we show Japan as an example of a weak couple culture. To further explain the differences in fertility levels between the two groups, we require international comparative studies focusing on historical and cultural backgrounds and the couple culture.

Email: sato.ryuzaburo@gmail.com

UK fertility - Tuesday 9 September 1.30pm

Educational Differences in Entry into Motherhood and Subsequent Childbearing in Britain: A Study of Cohorts Born 1940-1964.
Ann Berrington, Social Statistics and Demography, University of Southampton, Juliet Stone, ESRC Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton, Eva Beaujouan, Wittgenstein Centre,Vienna Institute of Demography/Austrian Academy of Sciences

This paper examines the changing relationships between education and childbearing in Britain. We provide new insight by examining for cohorts born 1940-1964 the changing relationship between education and the timing of first birth, and progression to higher order births. The paper addresses the following research questions: How have educational differentials in completed family size changed for cohorts born 1940-1964? Has the increase in childlessness been concentrated among those with higher levels of education? Among those who become mothers, do those with higher education show a higher propensity to go on to have further births? Have these relationship changed over cohorts? Our data come from retrospective fertility histories collected in repeated British General Household Surveys 1979-2009. The findings suggest educational differences in completed family size have remained remarkably consistent across cohorts. Among female graduates who enter motherhood, progression to higher order births is similar to those with intermediate levels of education, although both these groups have lower progression rates than those with the lowest levels of education. Within each educational group, higher order parity progression ratios have remained remarkably consistent across cohorts. We conclude that the overall reduction in mean family size across cohorts 1940-1964 is due in large part to the increased number of women entering higher education and the higher likelihood of remaining childless, or having a single child, among this group.

Email: a.berrington@soton.ac.uk

Economic insecurity and the transition to parenthood in the UK
Ann Berrington, Juliet Stone, ESRC Centre for Population Change, Universtiy of Southampton

This paper explores the impact of economic uncertainty on transition to parenthood in the UK. Whilst for men it is generally assumed that economic uncertainty will decrease childbearing, since higher incomes and stable, full-time employment provide a secure economic foundation for family formation, for women the expected direction of impact is less obvious since it depends for example on the extent to which women will be expected to provide employment income to the family home. Part-time work and unemployment may increase the time available for childcare, and hence may accelerate the transition to motherhood. The analyses presented here are based on prospective data from waves 1-3 of Understanding Society, the first wave of which was collected in 2009/10. The panel data allow us to look at both objective and subjective measures of insecurity and measures at the level of the individual and household. We include 6,675 women aged 16-44 years who are childless and non-pregnant at interview. Event history analyses model the transition to first pregnancy that results in a live birth. Preliminary results show that unemployment significantly increases the transition to first birth among younger women, but has the opposite effect in older women. However, when additional measures of economic insecurity are added (subjective financial status and, in particular, household income) the effect of unemployment is no longer statistically significant. The paper discusses these findings in relation to UK labour markets and welfare state support.

Email: a.berrington@soton.ac.uk

Housing and Fertility in Britain
Hill Kulu, University of Liverpool

This study examines the relationships between childbearing decisions and housing transitions. We will use data from the British Household Panel Study and will apply event history analysis. We will first investigate the effect of children on housing changes and childbearing patterns by housing type. We will model childbearing and housing transitions jointly to control for unobserved characteristic of individuals, which may simultaneously influence their fertility behaviour and housing choices. We will then investigate the relationships between housing and fertility across residential contexts (London versus other areas) and over time to find out whether and how socioeconomic context moderates the relationships between the two domains in the family life course.

Email: hill.kulu@liverpool.ac.uk

Macro-Micro interactions in fertility transitions: Differential responses in first birth behaviour to economic recession in the United Kingdom
Mark Lyons-Amos, Ingrid Schoon, Institute of Education, University of London

External economic shocks have influenced birth rates throughout history, for example, following the Great depression or collapse of Eastern European socialism. However, while the UK experienced dramatic economic stress following the 2008 Great Recession, the demographic situation was somewhat different due to a prior upward fertility trend and increasing proportion of births in cohabitation. This paper therefore examines the effect of the Great Recession on fertility behaviour, recognising that the effect may result from economic influences at macro or micro level. We use a longitudinal sample from the BHPS and Understanding Societies surveys to track individual women and measure the correspondence between fertility preferences and outcomes. Regression discontinuity establishes whether the 2008 crash had an influence on fertility behaviour, and we allows the effect to vary by respondent characteristics to determine differential effects. Initial results suggest some evidence of a falling fertility profile for younger cohorts, and evidence of a discontinuity in fertility rates following the 2008 crash. There is also evidence of an interaction between individual and regional unemployment and wages on fertility behaviour, indicating the importance of relative position within local labour markets.

Email: M.Lyons-Amos@ioe.ac.uk

Cultural influences on fertility - Tuesday 9 September 4.45pm

A conceptual framework for migrant fertility
Ben Wilson, Wendy Sigle-Rushton, London School of Economics

Despite more than 100 years of research on migrant fertility, the literature remains disjointed, contradictory and hard to interpret. Many researchers have highlighted the problems faced when studying migrant fertility. These include the frequent lack of suitable or sufficient data, problems with using standard fertility measures, and the existence of incomplete theoretical models and poorly defined hypotheses. This research argues that the fragmentation of migrant fertility research, and its various inherent problems, can only be surmounted by developing a coherent conceptual framework. This framework must define core concepts that are used to motivate, design, and evaluate research, including “convergence” and “assimilation”. It must also be able to accommodate a variety of research questions, and allow research to be compared and contrasted. Furthermore, it is only through the creation of a rigorous and explicit framework that researchers can choose the right data, methods and hypotheses in order to evaluate their research questions. The first section of this paper summarises the main concepts used in migrant fertility research, how researchers have failed to make these concepts explicit, and how they have been inconsistently applied in the extant literature. The second section proposes a conceptual framework that attempts to mitigate these issues, and describes how this framework may be used to answer the range of different questions that have been posed before. Finally, this paper gives an example of how the framework might be applied to a specific context, before discussing the implications for future research.

Email: b.m.wilson@lse.ac.uk

Recent fertility trends among immigrants and natives in Greece
Georgia Verropoulou, Cleon Tsimbos, University of Piraeus, Department of Statistics and Insurance Science, Greece, Sotiris Karkalakos, University of Piraeus, Department of Economics, Greece

OBJECTIVE The main objective of the paper is to explore recent trends in fertility rates in Greece distinguishing between native and immigrant populations wherever possible. As a second objective, the associations between specific socio-economic factors such as employment status and GDP on fertility rates are examined at national level. METHODS Using official vital statistics and census material we estimate age patterns and levels of fertility by citizenship three years after the onset of the crisis (2011) and compare them to pre-crisis estimates (2005). Further, using annual data (1982-2012) we apply Autoregressive Distributed Lag Models (ARDL) to assess the impact of sex-specific unemployment rates and per capita GDP on total fertility rates (TFR). RESULTS The recent economic crisis had palpable effects on the numbers of births for both natives and immigrants though more marked among the latter group; the percentage contribution of the latter group on the overall fertility has decreased since 2010. The inclusion of both socioeconomic indicators in ARDL models shows that GDP (contemporaneously) and unemployment (one year lagged) have a combined negative impact on the TFR. CONCLUSION Our regression results reconfirm the existence of a negative association between fertility and hardship. Unemployment rates, particularly among females, seem a crucial factor shaping fertility trends in the future.

Email: gverrop@unipi.gr

Trends of Ethnic fertility differentials in Cameroon
Sonzia Teutsong, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

We want to know why fertility started to decline in 1980s in Cameroon submitted a slight stall in 2000s and still remains relatively high. In establishing trends of fertility among different social and cultural groups, we show that the relative decline at national level highly hides disparities in subgroups of population. Many previous studies have focused on socioeconomic determinants of fertility, but few have stressed on cultural determinant. Therefore the study aims to emphasize the role of cultural determinant on the explanation of trends of fertility in Cameroon, a country where many ethnics groups interact. That means that many ways of thinking life, beliefs and several different practices coexist in the same country. What are their impacts on fertility? Using the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted in 1998, 2004 and 2011, our study finds that, while in the most subgroups of population, fertility measured by the total fertility rate has declined, in four particular ethnic groups, it has on the contrary, continuously increase. Then we suggest that, the fertility of those special ethnic groups is responsible of the pattern of fertility in Cameroon. Who are these particular groups? They are mostly localized in the northern part of Cameroon; they are also those in which one finds the less educated women, the more rural, the more get married too early, and the less prone to use contraceptive methods. Fertility in Cameroon probably remains high because these ethnic groups are traditionally more pronatalist than the other groups. Therefore we claim that cultural determinant should not be neglected as factor of fertility in Cameroon, and widely in most Sub-Saharan African countries. Keywords: Ethnicity, Fertility Factors, Cameroon

Email: Sonzia.Teutsong@malix.univ-paris1.fr

The influence of the parental family on the family values
Vladimir Kozlov, Natalia Soboleva, National Research University - Higher School of Economics

The goal of this research is to reveal the influence of the parental family on the family values of the individual. The parental family is one of the main agents of the individual socialization. The basic values including family ones are shaped as a result of reciprocity with parents within the process of family education and upbringing. To the most important factors refer demographic such as the existence of parents, the number of children in family as well as social-economic which comprise social class of parents, their communication with children, cultural capital in family. We will investigate the research question in comparative perspective using European Value Study as an empirical database. In this research we shape the special indexes of family values (egalitarian or traditional) using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. According to our hypotheses the parental family plays an important role in values shaping. The higher educational level of parents is associated with lower control and leads to less traditional and more egalitarian values as well as the situation when the children had an opportunity to discuss different questions with their parents. Moreover we claim that the mechanism of values transition depends significantly on the certain country. In this case we will run the multilevel regression analysis to find the country-level variables explaining the family values and finally we will use structural equation models for analyzing the relative significance of the different values in certain countries.

Email: kozloww@gmail.com or  vakozlov@hse.ru

Stalling fertility of Muslims Arabs in Israel
L. Daniel Staetsky, Institute for Jewish Policy Research, London

In 2011 period total fertility rate (TFR) of Muslim Arabs in Israel stood at 3.5 children per woman. Muslim Arab TFR declined from the level of nearly 10 children per woman in the mid-1960s to about 5 children per woman in the mid-1980s; afterwards it remained close to 4.5 children per woman for nearly twenty years (1985-2003). According to Nahmias and Stecklov (2007, p. 73), “it appears to be among the longest recorded stagnations witnessed to date”. A number of hypotheses, both ideational and structural/socio-economic, had been advanced to account for the observed stall in Muslim Arab fertility. However, ultimately no satisfactory explanation has been proposed so far. We consider the existing explanatory focus on the socio-economic determinants of fertility (such as socio-economic position, religiosity, minority status) to be premature in view of the absence of comprehensive understanding of the proximate determinants of Muslim Arab fertility in Israel. This paper focuses on the calculation of the principal proximate determinants of fertility (marriage patterns, contraceptive use, lactational infecundability due to breastfeeding), as defined in the model of factors affecting fertility proposed by Bongaarts (1978, 1982). The analysis reveals centrality of the scope of marriage for the explanation of the observed stall in Muslim Arab fertility in Israel. This, in turn, is linked to the marriages partners availability and changing age-sex composition of the Muslim Arab population. Nahmias, P. and G. Stecklov. 2007. The dynamics of fertility among Palestinians in Israel from 1980 to 2000, European Journal of Population, 23, 1: 71-99. Bongaarts, J. 1978. A framework for analyzing the proximate determinants of fertility, Population and Development Review, 4: 105-132. Bongaarts, J. 1982. The fertility inhibiting effects of the intermediate variables, Studies in Family Planning, 13: 179-189.

Email: staetsky@gmail.com 

Reproductive health and family planning - Wednesday 10 September 9.00am

Family planning policy and trends in fertility in China 1971-2005
Min Qin, Southampton University

Family planning policy (FPP) in China introduced in the 1970s was primarily targeted one generation and implemented mainly to reduce the burgeoning population growth at that time. The total fertility rate has been dropped steadily to a level below replacement within two decades. However, the relationship between FPP effort, socio-economic development and fertility decline remains inconclusive, particularly at the end of the fertility transition period. This study uses data from six consecutive national representative population and family planning cross-sectional surveys to examine how FPP interact with socio-economicconditions to influence fertility change over time. The assessment of the FPP considers timing, urban/rural and region differentials. Period parity progression ratios and fertility change decomposition are calculated to capture the FPP impact on fertility transition in China. The results show that fertility in China has been declining dramatically since 1970s, reaching the replacement level in early 1990s and decreasing continually afterwards to well below the replacement. The significant drop of FPP related parity progression right after each FPP being introduced indicate that FPP is the trigger of fertility decline. The fertility differentials by FPP remain in transitional and post transitional stage, indicating that the FPP affects the average fertility of the population in China throughout the fertility transition process. However, the dis- aggregation of fertility change among different sub-population indicates that social economic context played important role for policy implementation, implying that apart from leadership, contraceptive supplies and stakeholders’ involvement, certain level of socioeconomic development where the targeted population surrounding is a necessary prerequisite for FPP implementation and adoption.

Email: mq1e12@soton.ac.uk

Reporting of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in Demographic and Household surveys: Are women reliable informants?
Sarah E Neal, Department of Demography and Social Statistics, University of Southampton, Victoria Hosegood, Department of Demography and Social Statistics, University of Southampton

The health and wellbeing of adolescent girls is considered crucial to the ongoing development of low resource countries. Among the most widely used indicators of health and wellbeing for adolescent girls are: age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth and childbirth. Data available from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are widely used to estimate these and other adolescent indicators, and are often presented as percentage of women reporting the event occurring before 15 years of age. However, the accuracy of adolescent indicators are poorly understood despite evidence that social desirability bias and recall bias may strongly influence on women’s reports of very early childbearing, sexual debut or marriage. In this paper, we use data from two DHS surveys conducted five years apart in each of nine African and Latin American countries to examine the consistency of reports of age at sexual debut, marriage / first union and first birth with a focus on events before the age of 15. We find marked differences in estimates for very early first births and marriage, with women aged or 15-19 years much less likely to report marriages and first births before exact age years than women in the survey five years later who are from the same birth cohort but now aged 20-24 years. The reporting of sexual debut on the other hand is more consistently reported between surveys and age groups. We conclude that caution should be taken when using data on early adolescent sexual and reproductive health events, and further analysis is needed to ascertain possible sources of bias and error.

Email: S.Neal@soton.ac.uk

Fertility preferences and contraceptive behavior and needs in Iraqi Kurdistan Region: A Q-methodology study
Nazar P. Shabila, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq

Background Different factors can affect women’s fertility preferences and contraceptive behaviour including socioeconomic changes in the population. The purpose of this study was to explore the views and experiences of fertility preferences and contraceptive behaviour in a sample of women in Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Methods Q-methodology was used as it provides a technique for eliciting subjective views. A sample of 22 women of different educational and socioeconomic statuses sorted a set of 41 selected statements into a distribution on a 9-point scale. Results Using a by-person factor analysis, three factors or salient viewpoints were emerged. Factors were named based on their distinguishing statements. Factor 1, “Social Driven High Fertility’, reflects the view of strongly believing in having large families for securing their marriage and as response to the family and social influence. Factor 2, “Work-related Low Fertility”, represents the view of strongly supporting having small families as a result of women’s engagement in work and income earning activities and to avoid the economic burden of having large families. Factor 3, “Negative Contraceptive Experience”, centres on failure to use contraception appropriately due to different reasons like poor knowledge, social refusal and health risks. The typical characterizations that were associated with each view were highlighted. Conclusions Different viewpoints held by study participants demonstrate the complexity of perspectives and experience about fertility preference and contraception in Kurdistan region. Understanding these differences is important to assist in determining the future trend of fertility and to assist change management processes required to address contraception needs.

Email: nazar.shabila@hmu.edu.iq

The role of induced abortion in fertility transitions
Ernestina Coast, London School of Economics

Induced abortion can play a considerable role in fertility regulation in settings of ‘middle fertility’ in which Coale’s preconditions for fertility decline have been met, but in which demand for contraception outstrips the supply. However there are few low income settings with reliable data on both contraceptive use and induced abortion in order to explore this relationship at the individual level. This paper contributes to understanding the role of induced abortion in fertility transitions by examining women’s reasons for, and pathways to, seeking an induced abortion in Zambia. Zambia’s TFR is 6.2, 16% of births are reported as unwanted and 26% as mistimed, and unmet need for effective contraception among married women (an underestimate of the unmet need for women overall) is 27% (DHS 2007). Induced abortion is legal in Zambia and the policy framework is among the most favorable in Africa. The paper analyses quantitative and qualitative data collected in 2013 from girls and women (n=108) presenting for either abortion or post-abortion care at a large Zambian city hospital. It identifies trajectories for induced abortion among which contraceptive failure and lack of access to post-partum contraception are considerable components. The use of induced abortions as a means to achieve fertility intentions is poorly understood. By examining in detail the narratives of girls and women who have recently sought an induced abortion, this case study contributes to a better understanding of the ways in which pregnancies are understood as unplanned, unwanted and mistimed.

Email: e.coast@lse.ac.uk

Fertility preference in Asia - Wednesday 10 September 11.00am

Son Preference, Fertility Decline and Sex-Selective Abortions in India: An Agent-Based Modelling Approach to Understanding Sex Ratio at Birth and Fertility Trajectories
Ridhi Kashyap 1, Francisco V. Goula 1,2, 1 University of Oxford and 2 Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

The significant decline in fertility since the 1980s across Asia has been accompanied by an unprecedented and anomalous rise in the sex ratios at birth (SRB). This is attributable to the use of sex-selective abortions (SSA) to reconcile a persistent preference for male offspring within a desire for smaller families. Existing data, however, constrain our ability to quantify to what extent the distribution and persistence of son preferences, the degree of the fertility decline, and the diffusion of sex-selective technologies contribute to observed macro-level fertility and SRB trajectories. We model the emergence of macro-level fertility decline and SRB trajectories through an agent-based model (ABM) that explicitly examines each of these factors for India. In our ABM we assume fertility norms about total parity and desired number of sons change by cohorts. Female agents practice sex-differential stopping behaviour until SSA technology emerges as an exogenous shock at a particular point in time and diffuses throughout the population. We find that relatively low levels of son preferences (~35 percent) can show adverse SRB trajectories as SSA diffuses and is practiced at low parities. Moreover, even decreasing son preferences across cohorts in the presence of SSA can manifest itself in adverse macro-level sex ratio trajectories upwards of 110 male births for 100 female births at fertility levels of 2.5 children per woman and lower. Our approach lets us estimate the extent of SSA corresponding to varying SRB levels and examine the implications of different behavioural assumptions for future SRB and fertility trajectories.

Email: ridhi.kashyap@nuffield.ox.ac.uk

Fertility transition, son preference and sex-selection against females
Sylvie Dubuc, Devinderjit S. Sivia, University of Oxford

This paper focuses on the demographic manifestations of son preference in link with fertility transition. In the context of fertility decline, the dual desires to have a son while having fewer children increase pressure on parents to revert to prenatal sex-selection. The availability of pre-natal sex determination techniques has enabled pre-natal sex-selection, resulting in a male bias of the sex-ratio at birth in many societies where son preference prevails and fertility is declining, leading to over 100 million so-called missing girls in Asia. Using a probabilistic model to examine the dependence of the expected sex-ratio at birth, and the fraction of couples resorting to sex-selection, on the fertility level within the population and the birth-orders at which medical intervention is invoked, the paper examines various scenarios in which couples who first have girls intervene to ensure a male offspring. We establish the non-trivial inter-relationships between above demographic factors in relation to sex selection against females and model the demographic responses to son preference in dependence of fertility. These have important implications for understanding sex-ratio at birth bias. We discuss son preference in Bangladesh and the past and likely future trends of prenatal sex-selection against females in India and China.

Email: sylvie.dubuc@spi.ox.ac.uk

The Causes and Consequences of Son Preference in Pakistan, 1990-2013
Melanie Frost, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford

Son preference and gender discrimination are well documented in South Asia, but little recent research exists on this topic in Pakistan. The issue of son preference is especially pertinent given that this phenomenon can delay fertility transition and decrease contraceptive usage; Pakistan lags behind most other Asian countries in terms of the demographic transition with relatively high fertility and low contraceptive use. Recent data also shows that Pakistan has one of the highest desired sex ratios at birth of any country. Data from the 1991, 2007 and 2011 Pakistan Demographic and Health Surveys was used to investigate levels, trends, correlates and consequences of son preference in Pakistan. The effect of son preference on fertility and contraceptive use was estimated along with the sex ratio at last birth and the desired sex ratio. Multivariate logistic regression is used to consider the effect of sex composition on parity progression over time in more detail. Parity progression driven by desire for sons accounted for around 5% of births. Contraceptive use was at least 20% lower than would be expected in the absence of son preference. There was no significant evidence of skewed sex ratios. The desired sex ratio at birth fell over time, but the sex ratio at last birth increased from 118 (males per 100 females) in 1990 to 128 in 2013; this indicates that while stated preference for sons is decreasing, declining fertility rates are intensifying the need to engage in differential stopping behaviour at earlier parities.

Email: melanie.frost@ageing.ox.ac.u

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