Volume 60, Part 2, 2006 - July 2006

Author: Mark Spoerer
Title: Forced labour and the mortality of allied prisoners of war and Belgian deportees during the First World War: Evidence for pragmatism rather than racism

Influenced by results for the Second World War, recent research on forced labour in Imperial Germany during the Great War has stressed continuities of racial discrimination against East European workers. While agreeing that POWs from Russia were discriminated against, I reject the view that this led to a significantly worse mortality regime for the group as a whole.

Using the same raw data, I calculate annual rates which show that the mortality of POWs from Russia was only slightly higher than that of French and Belgian POWs but much lower than that of British and Italian POWs and of Belgian civilian deportees. I argue that this unexpected outcome is explained by the fact that the POWs who came early into German captivity faced a lower risk of being employed in urban industrial areas, with their much more unfavourable food and disease environment.

Keywords: mortality; prisoners of war; deportees; war; First World War; forced labour

Authors: Fiona Steele, Heather Joshi, Constantinos Kallis, Harvey Goldstein
Title: Changing compatibility of cohabitation and childbearing between young British women born in 1958 and 1970

We investigate the effect of parenthood on whether nonmarital unions led to marriage or parting for two cohorts of British women when they were aged between 16 and 29. We compare the effect of conceptions leading to births and the presence and characteristics of children on the odds that a cohabitation was dissolved, or that it was converted to marriage, for women born in 1958 and 1970. A multilevel, multiprocess, competing-risks model allows for multiple cohabitations per woman and endogeneity of fertility status. We find that cohabiting couples' response to impending parenthood and the presence of children changed over time. In particular, the proportion of cohabiting couples who married before a birth decreased and, in the 1970 cohort only, the risk of dissolution declined during pregnancy. There is also evidence that the presence of a child cemented a cohabiting union for women from the 1970, but not the earlier, cohort.

Key words: cohabitation; marriage; partnership; dissolution; fertility; competing risks; multilevel modelling; multiprocess modelling; simultaneous equation modelling; selection effects

Author: John Hobcraft
Title: The ABC of demographic behaviour: How the interplays of alleles, brains, and contexts over the life course should shape research aimed at understanding population processes

This paper proposes core innovations in the strategy of research on demographic behaviour. One aim is a shift of attention away from events and towards a focus on dynamic processes and their interplay: away from a preoccupation with marriage and divorce, births, deaths, migrations, and household structure towards a broader perspective that takes account of partnership and intimacy, parenthood, potential and well-being, position in society and space, and personal ties. Another aim is a much closer engagement with genetics, neuroscience, psychology, and behavioural economics. A third aim is a strategy that pays more attention to pathways within the individual, to the processes entailed when the individual interacts with various contexts, and to progressions that involve the interplay of the pathways and processes through the life course. These shifts of emphasis, which have already begun to occur, require a systematic reassessment of priorities for research on demographic behaviour.

Keywords: demographic research; genetics; neuroscience; psychology; behavioural economics; theory; research strategy; life course

Authors: Arpita Chattopadhyay, Michael J. White, and Cornelius Debpuur
Title: Migrant fertility in Ghana: Selection versus adaptation and disruption as causal mechanisms

The aim of the study presented in this paper is to disentangle the roles of three mechanisms-selection, adaptation, and disruption-in influencing migrant fertility in Ghana. Using data from the 1998 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey, we fit Poisson and sequential logit regression models to discern the effects of the above mechanisms on cumulative fertility and annual probabilities of birth.

Characteristics of migrants from four types of migration stream are examined and compared with those of non-migrants at origin and destination. We find substantial support for the selection hypothesis among both rural-urban and urban-rural migrants. Disruption is evident only in the fertility timing of second and higher-order births in Ghana. Our finding that migrants bear children at about the same rates as the natives at destination implies that the growth rate of cities will slow down quickly and that the rural population will continue to have high fertility.

Thus to achieve a reduction in the national fertility level, family planning activities need to be directed towards rural areas.

Keywords: migration; fertility; Ghana; sub-Saharan Africa; selection; adaptation; disruption

Author: Alicia Adsera
Title: Marital fertility and religion in Spain, 1985 and 1999

Since the transition to democracy in Spain in 1975, both total fertility and rates of church attendance of Catholics have dropped dramatically. In this study the 1985 and 1999 Spanish Fertility Surveys were used to study whether the significance of religion for fertility behaviour- current family size and the spacing of births-changed between the survey dates. In the 1985 survey, family size was similar for those Catholics who actively participated in religious activities and those who, though nominally Catholic, were not active participants. By 1999, the family size of the latter was lower, and comparable to the family size of those without religious affiliation. These findings accord with the declines in both church attendance and fertility in Spain. The small groups of Protestants and Muslims had the highest fertility. Women in Inter-faith unions had relatively low fertility.

Keywords: religion; fertility; Spain; Catholic; Protestant

Author: Damien de Walque
Title: Research Note: The socio-demographic legacy of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia

The study presented in this paper is an examination of the long-term impact of genocide during the period of the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-79) in Cambodia. The very high and selective mortality of the period had a major impact on the population structure of Cambodia. Fertility and marriage rates were both very low under the Khmer Rouge, but recovered immediately after the regime's collapse. Because of the shortage of eligible men, the age and education differences between partners tended to decline. The period also had a lasting impact on the educational attainment of the population. The school system collapsed during the period and therefore individuals-especially men-who were of school age at the time have a lower educational attainment than those from the preceding and subsequent birth cohorts.

Keywords: Cambodia; genocide; Khmer Rouge; mortality; fertility; marriage; health; education                                                                                                                          

 

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