Volume 60, Part 3, 2006 - November 2006

Authors: Michael A. Koenig, Rajib Acharya, Sagri Singh, and Tarun K. Roy
Title: Do current measurement approaches underestimate levels of unwanted childbearing? Evidence from rural India.

The validity of estimates of unintended childbearing has often been questioned, especially given their almost exclusive reliance on responses to survey questions that ask women to recall their intentions about past pregnancies.

An opportunity to compare prospective and retrospective descriptions of intendedness was provided by a follow-up survey in four Indian states in 2002/03 of rural woman originally interviewed in the 1998/99 National Family Health Survey-2. The results demonstrate a pronounced tendency for births prospectively classified as unwanted to be retrospectively described as having been wanted or mistimed. The main reason seem to be either that mothers adapt to the reality of a new birth or are reluctant to describe an existing child as having initially been unwanted.

Our findings suggest that retrospective accounts of the wantedness of a birth, such as those obtained by current Demographic and Health Surveys, may lead to significant underestimates of true levels of unwanted childbearing.

Keywords: Unintended pregnancy; unwanted births; fertility preferences; National Family Health Survey; Demographic and Health Survey; India
pp. 243-256

Authors: Joshua R. Goldstein and Kenneth W. Wachter
Title: Relationships between period and cohort life expectancy: Gaps and lags

This paper offers an empirical and analytic foundation for regarding period life expectancy as a lagged indicator of the experience of real cohorts in populations experiencing steady improvement in mortality. We find that current period life expectancy in the industrialized world applies to cohorts born some 40 to 50 years ago. Lags track an average age at which future years of life are being gained, in a sense that we make precise. Our findings augment Ryder's classic results on period-cohort translation.

Keywords: expectation of life; mortality; demographic translation; period; cohort; linear shift models; mathematical demography.
pp. 257-269

Authors: Anastasia J. Gage and Marie Guirlène Calixte
Title: Effects of the physical accessibility of maternal health services on their use in rural Haiti

An analysis of data from the 2000 Demographic and Health Survey shows that little use is made of antenatal and delivery-care services in rural Haiti. After adjusting for individual-level factors, poor road conditions significantly reduce the likelihood of timely receipt of antenatal care and of four or more antenatal care visits, while the availability of a health centre within five kilometres significantly increases the odds of each outcome. The odds of being attended at delivery by trained medical personnel and of institutional delivery are significantly reduced by mountainous terrain and distance from the nearest hospital, and are increased if a health worker providing antenatal care is present in the neighbourhood. Neighbourhood poverty reduces the likelihood of safe delivery care. The findings suggest that improving the use made of maternal healthcare services would require, among other things, improvement of the availability of services and road conditions, and the reduction of poverty.

Keywords: Maternal health services; health service accessibility; poverty; rural health; Haiti
pp. 271-288

Authors: Dimiter Philipov, Zsolt Spéder, and Francesco C. Billari
Title: Soon, later, or ever? The impact of anomie and social capital on fertility intentions in Bulgaria (2002) and Hungary (2001)

We use survey data from Bulgaria and Hungary to investigate the determinants of whether women intend to have a first or a second child and, if so, whether they intend to have the child within the ensuing two years or later. These determinants differ significantly by the order and timing of the intended birth. The variables used include measures of anomie and social capital and these appear to be among the factors that determine both whether to have a child and when. There is some evidence that these measures and economic factors are relatively more important in Bulgaria than in Hungary, and that ideational factors are more important in Hungary, particularly in the case of voluntary childlessness.

Keywords: fertility intentions; very low fertility; Bulgaria; Hungary; social capital; anomie
pp. 289-308

Author: David Henley
Title: From low to high fertility in Sulawesi (Indonesia) during the colonial period: Explaining the 'first fertility transition'

This paper examines the past transition from low to high fertility which, in Indonesia as elsewhere, preceded the return to lower birth rates. Data from two parts of the island of Sulawesi where fertility rose during the colonial period are used to explain both why it rose, and why it was originally low. Economic conditions, it is argued, were the most important factors, affecting fertility via the supply of income and the demand for labour. Two schematic models of the 'first fertility transition' are proposed. In areas with low population densities and area-extensive forms of agriculture responsive to commercial stimuli, birth rates rose as the growth of commerce raised levels of prosperity, facilitated marriage, and undermined institutions such as debt-slavery which had previously acted to restrict marital fertility. In densely populated areas with labour-intensive agriculture and heavy state taxation in labour, fertility rose in response to demands for women's (and possibly child) labour that did not necessarily lead to gains in income

Keywords: historical demography; Indonesia; Sulawesi; fertility transition; lactational amenorrhoea; institutional economics; women's autonomy; slavery
pp. 309-327

Author: Ying Hong
Title: Marital decision-making and the timing of first birth in rural China before the 1990s

Using a sample of couples drawn from the three provinces of Guangdong, Shandong, and Shaanxi, we investigated whether couples' increasing freedom to choose whom to marry influenced the timing of first birth in rural China during the four decades before the 1990s. The shortening of first-birth intervals in the period is found to be associated with the shift from arranged to free-choice marriages. The association is attributed largely to increased intimacy and coital frequency after marriage together with postponement of age at first marriage.

Keywords: marital decision-making; timing of first birth; rural China
pp. 329-341

Author: A. J. Christopher
Title: Research Note. Questions of identity in the millennium round of Commonwealth censuses

All Commonwealth census authorities have posed questions about identity in the millennium round of enumerations. The most controversial issue has been ethnicity. No universal definition or classification system has been devised and each of the seventy-one states and dependencies has tended to pursue the enquiry in virtual isolation from its neighbours. The attempt to describe the population in terms of race and ethnicity has been inherited from the colonial era. More recently the requirements of monitoring affirmative action programmes in multi-cultural populations have resulted in the introduction or refinement of questions on these categories. A few States-a small minority of Commonweath countries-remain hostile to such enquiries. Where the issues of race and identity are not pursued, questions of nationality, language, and religion often fill the gaps left, adding further refinements to the definition of identity. An examination of current questioning about identity in Commonwealth censuses reveals a highly complex picture.

Keywords: Census; Commonwealth; classification; identity; ethnicity; nationality; language; religion
pp. 343-352                                                                                                                          

 

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