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Lois Verbrugge, Disability Experience & Measurement

A Demographic Decomposition of Elderly Living Arrangements with a Mexican Example

Publication Abstract

Christenson, Bruce A., and Albert Hermalin. 1991. "A Demographic Decomposition of Elderly Living Arrangements with a Mexican Example." Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 6: 331-48.

Population trends in developing countries raise concern about support for the elderly. The proportion of elderly living with extended kin is an indicator of support. This paper considers the analytic utility of a demographic decomposition of living arrangements of elderly Mexicans into population components which include weights for age and marital composition and corresponding rates or propensities. Separate decompositions for elderly males and females demonstrate the importance of population composition to the makeup of the elderly population who are living with extended kin. The utility of the decomposition for comparative analysis is demonstrated by decomposing gender differences in living arrangements. The higher proportion of women living with extended kin is primarily the result of gender differences in age-specific marital status and only secondarily the results of actual differences in propensities toward this type of living arrangement. The utility and limitations of this analytic tool for comparative research are discussed.

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