Volume 57, Part 2, 2003

Authors: Zhongwei Zhao
Title: On the Far Eastern Pattern of Mortality

Since the early 1980s, it has been accepted widely that there is a Far Eastern pattern of mortality, a pattern characterized by excessively high death rates among older men relative to death rates among younger men and among women. It has been regarded as a unique regional mortality pattern, applying primarily to Far Eastern populations. A re-examination of the mortality data of some Far Eastern populations reveals that changes in both age patterns of and sex differentials in mortality have been widely observed. Further, mortality patterns similar to the so-called Far Eastern mortality model have been found in many other populations.

Keywords: Model Life Tables, Far Eastern Mortality Pattern, Age Pattern of Mortality, Sex Differentials in Mortality, East Asia
pp. 131-147

Authors: Nicola Terceira, Simon Gregson, Basia Zaba and Peter R. Mason
Title: The contribution of HIV to fertility decline in rural Zimbabwe, 1985-2000

HIV-related sub-fertility has been reported for those populations in sub-Saharan Africa in which contraceptive use is low. We use data from a retrospective survey in rural Zimbabwe and multivariate logistic regression models to show that recent birth rates and current pregnancy rates are also lower among HIV-positive women than among HIV-negative women in those African populations where contraceptive use is high.

The fertility reduction is smaller than where contraceptive use is low because age at first sexual intercourse is later and birth rates at older ages are already low. Nevertheless, total fertility is approximately 8.5 per cent lower and HIV-associated sub-fertility may account for as much as one-quarter of fertility decline in Zimbabwe since the late 1980s.

Mechanisms for HIV-associated sub-fertility in rural Zimbabwe include more frequent widowhood and divorce, reduced coital frequency, increased amenorrhoea, and possibly, pelvic inflammatory disease. Miscarriage appears to be a less important factor than elsewhere possibly because syphilis is rare.

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Fertility Decline, Sub-fertility, Zimbabwe, Sub-Saharan Africa
pp. 149-164

Authors: C. J. L. Murray, B. D. Ferguson, A. D. Lopez, M. Guillot, J. A. Salomon and O. Ahmad
Title: Modified logit life table system: Principles, empirical validation, and application

Despite its widespread use, the Coale-Demeny model life table system does not capture the extensive variation in age-specific mortality patterns observed in contemporary populations, particularly those of the countries of Eastern Europe and populations affected by HIV/AIDS. Although relational mortality models, such as the Brass logit system, can identify these variations, these models show systematic bias in their predictive ability as mortality levels depart from the standard. We propose a modification of the two-parameter Brass relational model.

The modified model incorporates two additional age-specific correction factors (nx and &thetas;x) based on mortality levels among children and adults, relative to the standard. Tests of predictive validity show deviations in age-specific mortality rates predicted by the proposed system to be 30-50 per cent lower than those predicted by the Coale-Demeny system and 15-40 per cent lower than those predicted using the original Brass system.

The modified logit system is a two-parameter system, parameterized using values of l5 and l60.

Keywords: Adult Mortality, Age-specific Death Rates, Brass Techniques, Indirect Estimation Techniques, Model Life Table Systems, Relational Logit Models
pp. 165-182

Authors: Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue and Julie DaVanzo
Title: Economic downturns and schooling inequality, Cameroon, 1987-95

Policy makers often worry that economic crises aggravate schooling inequalities, but the longitudinal data to monitor these inequalities are typically lacking. This paper uses the schooling histories of 2,249 pupils to investigate how the economic downturn in Cameroon in the period 1987-95 affected the schooling inequalities associated with sex of pupil, residence, the family's socio-economic status, and family size. We first assess overall patterns and find these inequalities to depend on grade and other vulnerability factors.

For instance, girls are disadvantaged in comparison with boys only in rural families and within primary and junior secondary school. We then examine historical changes in schooling inequalities, distinguishing between long-term trends and net changes during crisis years. We find that the inequalities associated with sex of pupil and family size have increased. Results underscore the importance of economic conditions in sustaining progress in closing gaps in education between the sexes.

They also suggest that fertility and family size are of growing significance for schooling in African settings.

Keywords: Education Inequalities, Economic Recession, Africa, School Enrolments, Educational Status of Women, Family Size
pp. 183-197

Authors: John C. Caldwell and Bruce K. Caldwell
Title: Pretransitional population control and equilibrium

A persistent theme in much anthropological writing is the concept of the deliberate control of population numbers by hunter-gatherers as a means of achieving moderate family size, adequate nutrition, and constrained adult mortality. An analysis of the mix of theory and field evidence that led to this conclusion finds the case not proven. On the contrary, Malthusian constraints can operate, and probably did operate, to produce a hunter-gatherer society where most adults were reasonably robust and healthy even though child mortality was high and life expectancy short. The absence of population limitation in pre-Neolithic times implies high mortality as well as high fertility, and weakens the argument positing a Neolithic mortality crisis.

Keywords: Prehistoric Demography, Anthropology, Fertility, Infanticide, Natural Fertility, Stationary Population, Hunter-gatherers, Population control, Fertility Control
pp. 199-215

Authors: Mohamed M. Ali, John Blacker and Gareth Jones
Title: Annual mortality rates and excess deaths of children under five in Iraq, 1991-98

Data from two parallel household surveys conducted in Iraq by UNICEF in 1999 show that under-5 mortality declined steadily from 1974 to 1990, reaching about 63 per 1,000 live births in the period 1986-90. It then rose dramatically to 118 per 1,000 in 1991, the year of the Gulf War.

The number of 'excess' under-5 deaths (i.e., the number in excess of the number predicted from past trends) in Iraq between 1991 and 1998 was calculated assuming that, instead of the rates measured by the 1999 survey for this period, either (a) average mortality rates for the period 1986-90 had been maintained, or (b) mortality had continued to decline at the rate observed between 1974 and 1990. According to these calculations, the estimated number of excess deaths resulting from the Gulf War and its aftermath up to 1998 was between 400,000 (assumption a) and 500,000 (assumption b).

Keywords: Childhood Mortality, Excess Deaths, Iraq, UN Sanctions