Volume 53, Part 3, 1999

Author John Bongaarts
The fertility impact of changes in the timing of childbearing in the developing world

This study examines the role of tempo effects in the fertility declines of less developed countries. These effects temporarily inflate the total fertility of a population during periods when the age at childbearing declines and deflate it when childbearing is postponed.

An analysis of data from the World Fertility Surveys and the Demographic and Health Surveys demonstrates that fertility trends observed in many less developed countries are likely to be distorted by changes in the timing of childbearing. In most countries women are delaying childbearing, which implies that observed fertility is lower than it would have been without tempo changes.

This pattern is most clearly documented in Taiwan, where accurate birth statistics form a vital registration system that make it possible to estimate the tempo components of fertility annually from 1978 to 1993. The small but unexpected rise in the total fertility of Colombia in the early 1990s is attributed to a decline in the negative tempo distortion that prevailed in the 1980s. Similar interruptions of ongoing fertility declines may occur in the future in other countries when existing negative tempo effects are removed.
pp. 277-289

Author Anne-Emmanuele Calves
Marginalisation of African single mothers in the marriage market: evidence from Cameroon

Despite a growing concern over the health and socio-economic consequences of premarital fertility in Africa, few studies have explored the effect of premarital birth on the subsequent likelihood of getting married. While some ethnographic studies have suggested that unmarried African women sometimes use childbearing as a strategy to favour or accelerate transition to marriage, this analysis of the 1991 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey shows that, overall, premarital childbearing has a strong and negative effect on a young woman's chances of first marriage.

The results also reveal, however, that the effect of premarital childbearing on subsequent union varies significantly according to duration in single motherhood. While having a premarital birth makes marriage more likely in the short run, it significantly jeopardises the marriage chances of single women in the long run.
pp. 291-301

Authors David I Kertzer, Wendy Sigle and Michael J White
Childhood mortality and quality of care among abandoned children in nineteenth-century Italy

A great deal of scholarly attention has been devoted in recent years to the large-scale abandonment of newborn babies in the European past, with special emphasis given to the staggering rates of infant mortality among the foundlings. For the most part, scholars have agreed with the foundling home officials of the past in assigning much of the blame for this excess mortality to the women who took in the foundlings as wetnurses and subsequently as foster mothers.

This article takes issue with this view, based on an examination of the children at the foundling home of Bologna, Italy in the nineteenth century. Four cohorts of foundlings are examined - those abandoned in 1809-30, 1829-30, 1849-50, and 1869-70 (N = 3,615) - as we trace the changing pattern of infant and early childhood mortality. Longitudinal methods are used in examining the life course of these foundlings and the determinants of their mortality.
pp. 303-315

Authors T Chandola, DA Coleman and RW Hiorns
Recent European fertility patterns: fitting curves to 'distorted' distributions

Recent patterns of fertility in Europe show marked differences between countries. Recent United Kingdom and Irish fertility curves show 'distortions' in terms of a 'bulge' in early age fertility, distinct from the smoother curves of other European countries. These patterns may not be adequately described by mathematical functions used by previous studies to model fertility curves. A mixture model with two component distributions may be more appropriate.

The suitability of the simple and mixture Hadwiger functions is examined in relation to the fertility curves of a number of European countries. While the simple Hadwiger model fits recent period age-specific fertility distributions for some countries, others which display a 'bulge' in early age fertility require a mixture Hadwiger model. Some of the parameters of the Hadwiger models appear to be related to familiar demographic indices. The simple and mixture Hadwiger models appear useful in describing and comparing fertility patterns across European countries.
pp. 317-329

Authors Nyovani J Madise, Zoe Matthews and Barrie Margetts
Heterogeneity of child nutritional status between households: A comparison of six sub-Saharan African countries

Using cross-sectional data from Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, a multilevel analysis was performed to determine the extent of correlation of nutritional status between children in the same family and geographical area. Weight-for-age z-scores were used as a measure of nutritional status for children up to three years of age.

The percentage of children who were under-weight ranged from 16 in Zimbabwe up to 36 in Nigeria. The effects of socio-economic factors and individual characteristics on nutritional status between countries varied. However in all six countries, the child's age was the most important factor associated with nutritional status.

A clustering effect at the household level was found in all six countries, ranging from 24 per cent in Tanzania and Zimbabwe to 40 per cent in Malawi. There was also a significant, but smaller, clustering effect at community level for Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia.
pp. 331-343

Author Eric Richards
An Australian map of British and Irish literacy in 1841

This contribution to the study of literacy transition in Britain, Ireland, and Australia also touches on the relationship between literacy and international migration. Some 20,000 emigrants arrived in Australia in 1841 and their literacy is here established at the individual level, and then related to regional origins, occupations, religion sex, and family status in the British Isles.

The new Australia data offer unusual evidence to juxtapose with the prevailing account of British and Irish literacy. The paper makes systematic comparisons of the immigrant evidence with existing literacy findings for the populations of England and Wales, of Ireland, and the colonial population of Australia in the year 1841. The results also show extraordinary similarity of rank orderings between the Australian data and the conventional sources.

The results show that the immigrants were consistently more literate than the home and the receiving populations and indicate a substantial link between migration and literacy.
pp. 345-359

Author Thomas W Pullum and Andres Peri
A multivariate analysis of homogamy in Montevideo, Uruguay

This paper develops multivariate models to describe homogamy or, more generally, marriage preferences, for corresponding characteristics of brides and grooms. The purpose of these models is to obtain interpretable measures of the degree of homogamy on other dimensions.

The models are applied to a sample of marriages in Montevideo, Uruguay, with pairs of corresponding variables for the brides and grooms. The analysis estimates the unadjusted and adjusted levels of homogamy on previous marital status, age, education, religion, and location. Homogamy on location, or propinquity, is the single most important variable. Previous marital status and age describe the readiness or eligibility to marry and are associated in their effect on homogamy.

Education and religion describe vertical and horizontal differentiation of marriage partners, respectively. The multivariate analysis verifies that these dimensions are largely independent of each other.
pp. 361-377