Volume 51, Part 3, 1997

Author Narayan Sastry
Title
Family-level clustering of childhood mortality risk in northeast Brazil

The clustering of childhood mortality risk by family in northeast Brazil is investigated. The extent of family clustering is estimated before and after controlling for observed child and family demographic, reproductive, and socioeconomic characteristics and unobserved community characteristics.

The study also investigates the extent to which the coefficient estimates and standard errors are altered with better controls for unobserved heterogeneity at the family level and at the community level. These controls are achieved through the use of a multilevel nested frailty model for survival data. The variance of family frailty is overstated by a factor of four when unobserved community effects are omitted. The family-level variance is not statistically significant in the multilevel model, although it is highly significant in the model that includes only the family frailty effect.

Furthermore, ignoring the full design effects results in systematic bias in parameter estimates and standard errors.
pp. 245-261

Authors Wendy Post, Frans Van Poppel, Evert Van Imhoff and Ellen Kruse
Title
Reconstructing the extended kin-network in the Netherlands with genealogical data: methods, problems, and results

This paper discusses the use of genealogical data for the study of the historical development of kinship networks in the Netherlands, 1830-1990. There are two main problems in using genealogies: the year of death is missing for a sizeable part of the research population, and the information available on all relevant branches is far from complete. A mixed estimation procedure was used to impute the missing years of death.

Overcoming the second problem is more difficult; the only solution was to exclude individuals without children from the analysis. If these and other limitations of genealogies are not ignored and the effects of various types of under-registration are carefully assessed, genealogies can provide valuable information for our understanding of historical kinship patterns.

The empirical results, using data on more than 160,000 persons, show that demographic changes in Dutch society during the last 160 years have significantly affected the kinship configuration.
pp. 263-278

Authors Pradip K Muhuri and Jane Menken
Title
Adverse effects of next birth, gender, and family composition on child survival in rural Bangladesh

Child survival from ages one to five in Matlab, Bangladesh is related to the length of the birth-to-subsequent conception interval (BCI), family composition, health and family planning interventions, and socioeconomic conditions.

The BCI relationship consists of short-term effects (related to the mother's pregnancy or the presence of a very young sibling) and long-term effects (associated with having a 6-18 month old younger sibling). Their impact is apparent at longer intervals than previously thought. Girls with at least one sister are especially vulnerable and all girls have greater risks when the next child comes along. We conclude that the health and family planning programme improves life chances of children especially girls, directly through provision of care, and indirectly through prevention of unwanted births and longer child spacing.

The differential allocation of resources to children, indicated by the strong relationship of child survival to the composition of the older sibling set, may indicate previously unrecognised receptivity to family planning.
pp. 279-294

Authors Anne Hélene Gauthier and Jan Hatzius
Title
Family benefits and fertility: an econometric analysis

This paper addresses the question of whether higher governmental support for families has a positive effect on fertility by encouraging parents to have more children. The analysis is based on data for 22 industrialised countries and covers the period 1970 to 1990. Data are analysed using a fixed-effect econometric model with the sum of age-specific fertility rates as the dependent variable.

The results show that family allowances have a positive and significant effect on fertility, while maternity leave benefits have no significant effect. Increasing the value of family allowances by 25 per cent would result in an 0.6 per cent increase in fertility level in the short run. In the long run this effect would be of the order of 4 per cent, or about 0.07 children per woman on average.
pp. 295-306

Authors Monica Das Gupta and PN Maribhat
Title
Fertility decline and increased manifestation of sex bias in India

The net effect of fertility decline on excess mortality of girls relative to that of boys in India is influenced by two countervailing forces: the reduction in the number of higher-parity births which reduces net excess mortality, and the intensification of parity-specific discrimination, which increases it.

Rising sex ratios of children between 1981 and 1991 indicate that the net effect of these forces was an increase in the excess mortality of girls during this period. An estimated one million or more were added to the excess deaths, through sex-selective abortion or infanticide. For each of these deaths, an estimated four excess deaths of girls took place after birth during 1981-91, bringing the total excess mortality resulting from discrimination to almost five per cent of female live births.

The pre-existing regional differences in sex bias persist, with the northern states showing a greater increase in excess mortality, although the pace of fertility decline has been more rapid in the south.
pp. 307-315

Author Barbara S Okun
Title I
nnovation and adaptation in fertility transition: Jewish immigrants to Israel from Muslim North Africa and the Middle East

Transplanted to a radically different economic and cultural environment, Jewish immigrants to Israel from Muslim North Africa and the Middle East reduced their cohort fertility by approximately 33 per cent within 30 years, in the absence of any organised family planning programme.

Following the framework specified by Carlsson (1969), we identify two fertility control strategies that contributed to their fertility decline: (1) innovation behaviour - adoption of the birth control pill, and (2) adaptive behaviour - increase in birth spacing at low parities. Military service was a vehicle of socialisation for these new immigrants. We find important effects of female respondents' military service in explaining the adoption of innovative behaviour by this economically and culturally marginalised subpopulation. In contrast, military service is not important in explaining the spread of adaptive behaviour within this same subgroup.

These findings thus suggest circumstances in which cultural barriers to the adoption of new behaviour are important.
pp. 317-335

Authors John McDonald and Eric Richards
Title
The great emigration of 1841: recruitment for New South Wales in British emigration fields

In 1841 the colony of New South Wales offered an unprecedented number of heavily subsidised passages to British emigrants. It sought specific categories, particularly single young women, domestic servants, and agricultural labourers. The colony preferred English and Scottish rural immigrants. New South Wales attracted one fifth of all emigrants from the British Isles in 1841, but its selections were strongly biased towards southern Ireland.

While the influence of the selection criteria, as well as local factors, was pronounced, this paper argues that the recruitment also expressed the changing propensities to emigrate within the regions of the British Isles. In particular it demonstrated the willingness of young Irish women to emigrate where facilities were provided to overcome their poverty.

The immigration of 1841 was a turning point for Australia: it was the largest recruitment before the gold rushes of the 1850s and already signalled some of the main characteristics of Australian immigration history.
pp. 337-355

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