Monthly Archive for February, 2012

For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage

By Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise
Source: New York Times, February 17, 2012

LORAIN, Ohio — It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.

Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data.

New York Times Article
Child Trends Report

New Discussion Papers from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Positional Concerns through the Life Cycle: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data and Survey Experiments
Alpaslan Akay, Peter Martinsson
Abstract; PDF

Fading Hope in the US
Jo Ritzen, Klaus F. Zimmermann
Abstract; PDF

Characterizing the Instrumental Variable Identifying Assumption as Sample Selection Conditions
Christian Belzil, Jörgen Hansen
Abstract; PDF

Gender Gaps in PISA Test Scores: The Impact of Social Norms and the Mother’s Transmission of Role Attitudes
Ainara González de San Román, Sara de la Rica
Abstract; PDF

Misreported Schooling, Multiple Measures and Returns to Educational Qualifications
Erich Battistin, Michele De Nadai, Barbara Sianesi
Abstract; PDF

The Impact of Mental Health Treatment on Low-Income Mothers’ Work

By: Pamela J. Loprest and Austin Nichols
Source: Urban Institute


This study analyzes the impact of mental health problems and mental health treatment on low-income mothers’ employment, using the 2002 National Survey of America’s Families. We find that all mothers, low-income mothers, and low-income single mothers in very poor mental health are significantly less likely to work. Instrumental variables regressions show that mothers receiving mental health treatment are significantly more likely to work. These findings suggest that mental health problems are an important barrier to work among low-income women and that access to treatment for these problems can substantially improve the probability of work for this group.

Full text (PDF)

The Rise of Intermarriage

Rates, Characteristics Vary by Race and Gender
By: Wendy Wang
Source: Pew Research Center, Social & Demographic Trends

From Executive Summary:

This report analyzes the demographic and economic characteristics of newlyweds who marry spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and compares the traits of those who “marry out” with those who “marry in.” The newlywed pairs are grouped by the race and ethnicity of the husband and wife, and are compared in terms of earnings, education, age of spouse, region of residence and other characteristics. This report is primarily based on the Pew Research Center’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) in 2008-2010 and on findings from three of the Center’s own nationwide telephone surveys that explore public attitudes toward intermarriage. For more information about data sources and methodology, see Appendix 1.

Full report (PDF)

Working Papers from Bowling Green State University

Unmarried Boomers Confront Old Age: A National Portrait
By: I-Fen Lin and Susan L. Brown

The Party’s Over: The Influence of SES on the Association between Alcohol Use and Young Adult Well-Being
By: Patrick M. Seffrin, Peggy C. Giodano, Wendy D. Manning, and Monica A. Longmore

Unintended Fertility and the Stability of Coresidential Relationships
Karen Benjamin Guzzo and Sarah R. Hayford

The Myth of the Middle-Class Single Mother: Decomposing Demographic Change in Nonmarital Fertility, 1988-2008
Karen Benjamin Guzzo and Sarah R. Hayford

Election Administration by the Numbers

An Analysis of Available Datasets and How to Use Them
Source: Pew Center on the States

From the publication website:

This is the first-ever report to analyze the completeness, strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of data from sources such as state election divisions, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and its Election Administration and Voting Survey, public opinion surveys, and expert assessments.

This report finds that:

  • Extensive data are available from the sources analyzed here.
  • More effective use can be made of existing data.
  • Election officials, legislators, academic researchers, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders should collaborate to improve the collection and use of data about elections nationally and in the states.
  • The accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data, and even basic definitions of terms, vary considerably across states and localities. Although significant information is available now, better data and consistent definitions will help states continue to improve the effectiveness of election administration.

Full report (PDF)

Executive Summary

Introduction & Section 1: Datasets for Democracy

Section 2: The National Picture

Section 3: Measuring the Workflow of Elections

Appendices & Methodology, References, and Endnotes

More on the voluntary National Household Survey (Canada)

The flaws of a voluntary National Household Survey
Stephen Gordon | Globe and Mail Blog
February 13, 2012
This article discusses how some voluntary Canadian surveys have used the census long-form data to re-weight/benchmark the data. This can no longer be done because the 2011 census long-form, e.g., National Household Survey, was a voluntary survey.

Fresh 2011 numbers rekindling Canada’s love affair with census
Heather Scoffield | The Canada Press
February 7, 2012

The census attempts to tell Canadians not only how many we are, but also who we are – about our housing, our origins, our religion, our habits, our work and our quality of life.

It is so central to our daily lives that when news of Stephen Harper’s decision to cancel the long-form portion of the census broke in the dog days of the summer of 2010, it became a national scandal. Community development groups, charities, academics, municipalities, researchers and think-tanks came out of the woodwork in droves to proclaim the importance of the data.

. . .data-watchers are leery about how useful and how pertinent the new information will be

Upcoming Conferences

International Federation on Ageing (IFA) 11th Global Conference on Ageing
28 May – 1 June 2012
Prague, Czech Republic

The IFA 11th Global Conference on Ageing, entitled ‘Ageing Connects’ is taking place during the greatest demographic upheaval in the world’s history – the juncture between globalisation, urbanisation and population ageing. In the twenty years since the first IFA conference in India in 1992, the average life expectancy in the Czech Republic has increased by nearly 7% with a corresponding improvement in health status of older people in this region. Notwithstanding these improvements, today there are now more people globally living in poverty; family caregivers are an essential and expected partner in the health care system; and workforce trends across generations are volatile, as are the debates around social pensions and financial protection.

National Center for Health Statistics announces its National Conference on Health Statistics, 2012
August 6-8, 2012
Washington, DC

August 6: One-day Learning Institute
Get hands-on training in accessing and analyzing NCHS survey data.

August 7-8: Main Conference
Learn about the latest developments at NCHS and hear from national leaders in the fields of health, health data, and statistics.

New Discussion Papers from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

The Demographic Transition: Causes and Consequences
Oded Galor
Abstract; PDF

The “Out of Africa” Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development
Quamrul Ashraf, Oded Galor
Abstract; PDF

Inequality, Human Capital Formation and the Process of Development
Oded Galor
Abstract; PDF

Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations
Quamrul Ashraf, Oded Galor
Abstract; PDF

Long Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start
Pedro Carneiro, Rita Ginja
Abstract; PDF

The Effect of Ethnic Identity on the Employment of Immigrants
(revised version forthcoming in: Review of Economics of the Household)
Nick Drydakis
Abstract; PDF

Child Care Subsidies, Maternal Well-Being, and Child-Parent Interactions: Evidence from Three Nationally Representative Datasets
Chris M. Herbst, Erdal Tekin
Abstract; PDF

International Comparisons in Health Economics: Evidence from Aging Studies
James Banks, James P. Smith
Abstract; PDF

Is There Such Thing as Middle Class Values? Class Differences, Values and Political Orientations in Latin America
Luis Felipe López-Calva, Jamele Rigolini, Florencia Torche
Abstract; PDF

Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities
Steve Gibbons, Sandra McNally, Martina Viarengo
Abstract; PDF

The Complexity of Immigrant Generations: Implications for Assessing the Socioeconomic Integration of Hispanics and Asians
Brian Duncan, Stephen Trejo
Abstract; PDF

Less Myth, More Measurement: Decomposing Excess Returns from the 1989 Minimum Wage Hike
Carl Lin
Abstract; PDF

Working Papers from the California Center for Population Research

Causal Effect Heterogeneity
By: Jennie Brand and Juli Simon Thomas

Subsidized Housing and the Concentration of Poverty, 1977-2008: A Comparison between Eight US Cities
By: Yana Andreeva Kucheva

Mexican Migration and Union Formation in Sending Communities: A Research Note
By: Kate Choi

The “Difference Between Heaven and Earth”: Urban-Rural Disparities in Health and Well-being in China
By: Donald J. Treiman

Fertility Patterns in the Context of Mexican Migration to the United States: Childbearing Before and After Migration
By: Kate Choi

Cohort Effects or Period Effects?: Fertility Decline in South Korea in the 20th Century
By: Dongoh Kye

International Migration and the Distribution of Schooling in the Next Generation
By: Kate Choi and Robert D. Mare

Pathways to Educational Homogamy in Marital and Cohabiting Union
By: Christine R. Schwartz
Published As: Demography, Volume 47, Number 3, August 2010, pp. 735-753