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ISR's program in Society, Population, and Environment (SPE) focuses on social change and social issues worldwide.

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Demographic Responses to Community and Family Context

a PSC Research Project [ARCHIVE DISPLAY]

Investigator:   Susan Hautaniemi Leonard

This project examines how family and community context interact to shape mortality, marriage, and reproduction. In examining the influence of family context, it moves beyond effects of characteristics of parents and other close relatives to focus on the role of kin living in other households and even communities. In examining the influence of community context, it moves beyond consideration of geographic and economic characteristics to focus on community social organization. Inspired by recent developments in the sociological literature on neighborhoods, it assesses whether or not communities where residents were also bound together by kinships ties had more higher levels of collective efficacy and better provision of public goods that resulted in more favorable demographic outcomes. To test theories about the determinants of family change and variation, the research also examines how observed patterns of family and community contextual effects vary in response to secular changes and geographic variation in social, economic, and political context.

The research makes use of one of the largest, longest, and most detailed panel data sets ever compiled for an historical and contemporary population - 300,000 individuals who lived in northeast China from 1650 to the present over as many as seventeen generations. The project links existing core data from 1.3 million individual-level observations from historical household registers, to records from family genealogies, and retrospective surveys of these same individuals, their founding ancestors who settled the area in the seventeenth century, and their twentieth-century descendants, to produce a single, rectangular file for analysis. These data are supplemented with information at the community, regional, and provincial level on social, economic, and political conditions. Measurements of the influence of family and community context on demographic and social outcomes apply event-history techniques. Fixed- and random-effect models are used to account for correlations among individuals at different levels, including the residential household, descent group, community, and region.

Funding Period: 04/01/2006 to 01/31/2010

Country of Focus: China

This PSC Archive record is displayed for historical reference.

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