Volume 53, Part 2, 1999

Authors Chris Wilson and Pauline Airey
How can a homeostatic perspective enhance demographic transition theory?

This paper addresses the emerging interest in the relationship between homeostatic models and demographic transition theory. Firstly, it considers the nature of fertility measurement and concepts. The paper then goes on to examine evidence from pre-transitional societies in which demographic regimes have been most thoroughly studied, summarising what is known about their character.

The nature and current status of homeostatic theories in demography and the institutional supports of pre-transitional regimes are considered. The implications of the findings on pre-transitional populations for transition theory are then discussed. The paper concludes with suggestions for ways in which studies of transition within a framework of homeostatic regimes could be developed.
pp. 117-128

Authors PN Mari Bhat and Shiva S Halli
Demography of brideprice and dowry: causes and consequences of the Indian marriage squeeze

The paper investigates whether past declines in mortality could have created a huge deficit of eligible men in the marriage market, and whether the ensuing competition for mates could be responsible for the coercive character the dowry system of marriage has assumed in India. New indices have been developed to measure the trends in bridegroom availability that aid in the inquiry into the demographic origins of the marriage squeeze.

It is contended that the marriage squeeze against women was particularly intense in India because mortality decline, in addition to age structural changes, drastically reduced the number of widowers in the population who once accounted for about one-fifth of the annual supply of bridegrooms.

Our projections indicate that, as a result of recent declines in fertility, the marriage squeeze against females will ease substantially by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, and that marriages of men will begin to be delayed more than those of women.
pp. 129-148

Authors John Knodel, Rossarin Soottipong Gray, Porntip Sriwatcharin, and Sara Peracca
Religion and reproduction: Muslims in Buddhist Thailand

This study examines the contrast between Muslim reproductive attitudes and behaviour in Thailand and those of Buddhists, especially in the southern region. Results are based primarily on a large regional survey directed towards this topic and focus group discussions among Muslims in southern Thailand. We interpret Muslim reproductive patterns from the perspectives of the major hypotheses that have been invoked in the social demographic literature to explain links between religion and fertility.

These hypotheses partly explain what appears to be a complex and context-specific relationship. Nevertheless, the linkages between religion, ethnic and cultural identity, and political setting that appear to operate are more complex than can be fully explained by even a combination of the existing hypotheses.
pp. 149-164

Authors Samuel H Preston, Irma T Elo and Quincy Stewart
Title Effects of age misreporting on mortality estimates at older ages
This study examines how age misreporting typically affects estimates of mortality at older ages. We investigate the effects of three patterns of age misreporting - net age overstatement, net age understatement, and symmetric age misreporting - on mortality estimates at age 40 and above.

We consider five methods to estimate mortality: conventional estimates derived from vital statistics and censuses; longitudinal studies where age is identified at baseline; variable-r procedures based on age distributions of the population; variable-r procedures based on age distribution of deaths; and extinct generation methods. For each of the age misreporting patterns and each of the methods of mortality estimation, we find that age misstatement biases mortality estimates downwards at the oldest ages.
pp. 165-177

Authors Simon Gregson, Tom Zhuwau, Roy M Anderson and Stephen K Chandiwana
Apostles and Zionists: the influence of religion on demographic change in rural Zimbabwe

Religion has acted as a brake on demographic transition in a number of historical and contemporary populations. In a study in two rural areas of Zimbabwe, we found substantial differences in recent demographic trends between Mission and Independent or 'Spirit-type' churches.

Birth rates are higher in some Spirit-type churches and, until recently, infant mortality was also higher. Recent increases in mortality were seen within Mission churches but not in Spirit-type churches. Missiological and ethnographic data indicate that differences in religious teaching on healthcare-seeking and sexual behaviour and differences in church regulation could explain this contrast in demographic patterns. More restrictive norms on alcohol consumption and extra-marital relationships in Spirit-type churches may limit the spread of HIV and thereby reduce its impact on mortality.

These contrasting trends will influence the future religious and demographic profile of rural populations in Zimbabwe.
pp. 179-193

Authors Dominique Meekers and Ghyasuddin Ahmed
Pregnancy-related school dropouts in Botswana

In many Sub-Saharan African countries there are concerns about high rates of pregnancy-related school dropouts. Schoolgirls who become pregnant have fewer opportunities for socioeconomic advancement. This paper uses data from a nationally representative sample of Batswana women in conjunction with focus group interviews to describe the impact of schoolgirl pregnancy, and to identify the factors that facilitate the return to school of girls who did drop out because of pregnancy.

The results indicate that the problem of schoolgirl pregnancy may be much more severe than is commonly assumed. Although the situation is improving, there is a need to continue to improve programmes to reduce adolescent pregnancy, and a need to try and increase the number of young mothers who return to school to complete their education.
pp. 195-209

Authors Andres Vikat, Elizabeth Thomson and Jan M Hoem
Stepfamily fertility in contemporary Sweden: the impact of childbearing before the current union

We focus on the fertility of Swedish men and women who lived in a consensual or marital union in the 1970s and 1980s, and where at least one of the partners had children before they entered that union. Couples without any children before the current union were included for contrast. We find clear evidence that couples wanted a shared biological child, essentially regardless of how many children (if any) they had before their current union.

The shared child seems to have served to demonstrate commitment to the union, as did its conversion into a formal marriage.  We have not found much support for the hypothesis that our respondents sought to enter parenthood to attain adult status. A second birth might have been valued because it provided a sibling for the first child - a half-sibling acting as a substitute for a full sibling - but our evidence for such effects is contradictory. Our analysis makes it very clear that parity progression depends on whose parity we consider.
pp. 211-225

Author M Omar Rahman
Family matters: the impact of kin on the mortality of the elderly in rural Bangladesh

This study uses high quality longitudinal data on kin availability, proximity, and marital status from the Matlab surveillance area in rural Bangladesh to explore the impact of kin members on the survival of the elderly over a six year period. The results - from discrete time hazard models - suggest that the presence of a spouse, sons, and brothers substantially improves survivorship, but with differing effects by the sex of the elderly and the number of sons and brothers.

This study offers little support of any of the following as mechanisms by which kin affect the survival of the elderly: changes in the economic status of the elderly as proxied by land holdings; improved access to instrumental support as proxied by the marital status of sons; decrease in social isolation as proxied by proximity of kin.
pp. 227-235

Authors Sarah Jarvis and Stephen P Jenkins
Marital splits and income changes: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey

We provide new evidence about what happens to people's incomes when their or their parents' marital union dissolves using longitudinal data from waves 1-4 of the British Household Panel Survey. Marital splits are accompanied by substantial declines in real income for separating wives and children on average, whereas separating husbands' real income on average changes much less.

Results are shown to be robust to the choice of income definition and degree of economies of scale built into the household equivalence scale, and are validated with information about respondents' assessments of how their personal financial circumstances changed. In addition we analyse the extent to which the welfare state mitigates the size of income loss for women and children relative to men, and document the accompanying changes in social assistance benefit receipt and paid work, and maintenance income receipt and payment.
pp. 237-254

Authors Nan Li and Shripad Tuljapurkar
Population momentum for gradual demographic transitions

Population momentum is the ratio of a population's ultimate size after a demographic transition to its initial size before the transition. For an instantaneous drop to replacement fertility, Nathan Keyfitz found a simple expression Mk for the momentum. However, as Keyfitz pointed out, 'no one thinks that any country will drop immediately to stationary reproduction patterns'. We present results concerning the momentum of a population whose demographic transition is completed within a finite time.

First, we provide an exact analytical formula for such a population's momentum. Second, for rapid fertility transitions, we obtain a simple exact  expression for momentum that reduces to Keyfitz's MK if the transition is instantaneous. We show, by example, that our simpler formulae are accurate approximations to population momentum for transitions that take as long as 100 years.

Finally, we show that the speed of fertility decline makes a substantial difference to population momentum.
pp. 255-262