Comparative Population Studies (CPoS - E-Journal)
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    361 research outputs found

    Migration as a Tool for Social Resilience: Lessons From Two Case Studies

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    Following the fall of socialism in East and Southeast Europe, widespread destabilisation of living conditions was accompanied by immense skill and cost mismatches. Both of these factors continue to contribute to substantial levels of brain drain, brain waste and de-skilling. We propose and discuss the migration-resilience nexus as a new paradigm that emphasises the instrumental dimension of movements and migrants’ agency in terms of the aspiration-capabilities framework. In this paper, we look at migration-specific contexts in two countries suffering from long-term emigration for different reasons. Migratory movements, including emigration and circular and return migration, are interpreted as “tools for social resilience”. In many cases, migrants do not necessarily have the aspiration to migrate. Nevertheless, they can do so when conditions in their individual situation, such as material income, individual well-being or family status, change. Thus, in contrast to the few studies that have looked at migration and resilience so far, we focus on aspirations, decisions and movements as fundamental elements of a resilience strategy adopted by individuals to cope with permanent existential risk, constant harassment, socio-psychological stress or other threats. Our analysis pursues a comparative empirical approach. To cover the broad scope of this phenomenon, we chose Latvia and Albania as the study’s examples. Data on Albania is gathered using qualitative methods, while a quantitative approach is adopted in Latvia. * This article belongs to a special issue on “Demographic Developments in Eastern and Western Europe Before and After the Transformation of Socialist Countries”

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    Three Decades on Russia’s Path of the Second Demographic Transition: How Patterns of Fertility are Changing Under an Unstable Demographic Policy

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    This study aims to highlight the changes in fertility patterns of Russians which occurred after the USSR’s dissolution or disintegration, taking a long historical perspective. After that disruption, thirty cohorts were born and raised who never lived under the Soviet system. Fifteen more cohorts (those who were born between 1975 and 1990) remember that system only as a part of childhood, but their adult life started after the iron curtain had fallen and a flood of new ideas and practices spilled into all spheres of life. At the same time, the increased concern among the Russian elite about the declining population and low birth rates led to the adoption of a pronatalist family policy based on monetarist approaches reinforced by conservative-traditionalist ideology. Our main research question asks: To what extent did state social and family policies in Russia, which are based on the ideology of traditionalism and conservatism, derail or slow down the modernization of the quantitative and structural parameters of fertility patterns within the Second Demographic Transition context? Our analysis is based on indicators from period and cohort fertility tables, specific for age and parity. Extrapolations are used for Russia’s female cohorts born 1971-1994 to arrive at expected ultimate fertility outcomes. Our evidence, obtained from the comprehensive analysis of fertility tables, reveals that the transformation of the Russian fertility model continues to be in line with the Second Demographic Transition common to developed countries, and that two decades of active pronatalist policy in the context of strengthening the conservative family ideology did not stop the modernization of fertility patterns. * This article belongs to a special issue on “Demographic Developments in Eastern and Western Europe Before and After the Transformation of Socialist Countries”

    Excess Mortality During the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Korea

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    This study examines excess mortality in South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. I analyze age-specific mortality rates and present an international comparison. First, Korean excess mortality remained low until the end of 2021 but significantly increased in early 2022. Second, this excess mortality was concentrated among older people. For example, cumulative excess mortality among the population aged 85+ years until the 30th week of 2022 was approximately 1-2 percent, that is, an additional 1-2 percent of this age group died compared with what we would have expected in the absence of COVID-19. Third, the international comparison demonstrates that excess mortality in South Korea was relatively low. The country experienced one of the lowest excess mortality rates among countries under study until the end of 2021, but excess mortality rapidly increased in early 2022. However, it returned to being comparatively low by mid-2022. This comparison shows cross-national variation in excess mortality, which may be associated with policy responses and public health infrastructure. Finally, I discuss implications and opportunities for future research

    Should Mama or Papa Work? Variations in Attitudes towards Parental Employment by Country of Origin and Child Age

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    Employment among mothers has been rising in recent decades, although mothers of young children often work fewer hours than other women do. Parallel to this trend, approval of maternal employment has increased, albeit not evenly across groups. However, differences in attitudes remain unexplored despite their importance for better understanding mothers’ labour market behaviour. Meanwhile, the employment of fathers has remained stable and attitudes towards paternal employment do not differ as much as attitudes towards maternal employment do between socio-economic groups. This paper examines attitudes towards maternal and paternal employment. It focuses on Germany, drawing on data from the German Family Demography Panel Study (FReDA). The survey explicitly asks whether mothers and fathers should be in paid work, work part-time or full-time, presenting respondents with fictional family profiles that vary the youngest child’s age. Unlike previous studies, the analysis compares the views of respondents with different origins: West Germany, East Germany, immigrants from different world regions, and second-generation migrants in West Germany. The results highlight remarkable differences between respondents from West and East Germany, with the former group displaying strong approval for part-time employment among mothers and fathers of very young children and the latter group reporting higher approval for full-time employment. Immigrant groups are far from homogenous, holding different attitudes depending on their region of origin. Taken together, the results offer a nuanced picture of attitudes towards maternal and paternal employment. We discuss these findings in relation to labour markets participation in Germany. * This article belongs to a special issue on “Family Research and Demographic Analysis – New Insights from the German Family Demography Panel Study (FReDA)”

    Is Wife’s Marital Satisfaction Associated with Husband’s Dominance in Family Affairs? Empirical Evidence from China

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    Employing data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), the paper empirically examines the relation between husband’s dominance in family affairs and wife’s marital satisfaction. While applying the ordinal probit model and ordinary least squares (OLS) method, the paper finds that wife’s reported marital satisfaction is positively associated with her husband’s dominant role in family affairs. This conclusion remains valid after using an instrumental variable to deal with endogeneity and performing some robustness tests. Some heterogeneities exist: the association is particularly prominent among those women who have traditional gender norms and are living in rural areas. These women tend to embrace the traditional gender ideology which stipulates that men are the masters of the family

    Trends and Determinants of Birth Registration Completeness in Zimbabwe, 2005-2015

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    Childbirth registration in Zimbabwe has decreased over the years, yet the risk factors associated with this incompleteness have not been explored. This study investigates the trends in birth registration completeness and factors associated with the decrease in birth registration among children aged 0-5 years from 2005-2015. We use data from the, 2005-06, 2010-11 and 2015 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey. Trends in birth registration completeness based on survey year were calculated and multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the predictors of birth registration. Birth registration completeness was 75.4 percent, 47.3 percent, and 43.8 percent in 2005, 2010, and 2015, respectively. Inequities in birth registration completeness become apparent when examined by wealth, urban/rural location, geographical region, maternal education, healthcare utilisation, and marital status. Child age, maternal education, marital status, household wealth status, residence, province, and delivery place were significant predictors of birth registration. Efforts to improve birth registration in Zimbabwe should target children born at home, children born to single and young mothers, and children whose mothers are poor and reside in rural areas

    Gender Norms under Socialism and Capitalism: A Historical Examination of Attitudes towards Maternal Employment in the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany

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    Research on the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in the 1980s shows a high level of congruence between conservative social policy deterring mothers from employment and traditional societal gender norms. In contrast, little is known about whether people in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) agreed with the socialist idea of continuous full-time maternal employment. Based on unexploited GDR data from 1984 and a description of contemporary social policy, this study examines attitudes towards maternal employment, whether they were related to individual preferences for work or children, and their congruence with the socialist policy. The same questions are examined for the FRG using data from 1982. Results for the GDR indicate that one third of respondents rejected the socialist idea of maternal full-time employment, with individual work preferences being decisive for respondents’ assessments. In the FRG, there was a high degree of agreement with the gender norm of maternal non-employment, with this being dependent on individual preferences for children. These findings complement post-reunification evidence on East-West-differences in gender norms and provide insights into attitudes under Eastern European state socialism. * This article belongs to a special issue on “Demographic Developments in Eastern and Western Europe Before and After the Transformation of Socialist Countries”

    The Sensitivity of the Healthy Life Years Indicator: Approaches for Dealing with Age-Specific Prevalence Data

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    The Healthy Life Years (HLY) indicator is the official European Union indicator and a cornerstone of many health policies used in over 15 countries in the EU region to set national health plans and monitor targets. It is also used to investigate trends over time in the proportion of total life years spent in good or poor health, socioeconomic inequalities in health and mortality and the male-female health survival paradox. Based on the Global Activity Limitation Indicator (GALI) included in the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), a great amount of effort has been directed at harmonising and making HLY comparable across countries. Nonetheless, the characteristics of the age-specific prevalence distribution are still rarely accounted for, regardless of the fact that patterns of prevalence often fluctuate considerably by age. In addition, the impact of assumptions used at very young ages on HLY estimates are seldom discussed, despite the fact that the majority of policies and initiatives at the EU level use HLY at birth, while data on health is only available after age 16. In this paper, we assess whether smoothing the age-specific prevalence distributions by different methods, extrapolating to older ages and changing assumptions at younger ages affect HLY estimates. Overall, assumptions made before age 15 are the most important and affect women and men differently, thus affecting HLY at birth for some countries. Estimates at age 65 are very slightly impacted. Generalised linear models (GAMs) seem promising for harmonising and extrapolating to older ages, while using polynomials or aggregating into 5-year age groups seem best for younger ages. As most EU policies use HLY at birth and by sex for developing and monitoring health policies, caution is needed when estimating HLY at birth. * This article belongs to a special issue on “Levels and Trends of Health Expectancy: Understanding its Measurement and Estimation Sensitivity”

    Biases in Assertions of Self-Rated Health: Exploring the Role of the Respondent, Country of Residence, and Interviewer

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    Comparative analyses frequently examine respondents’ self-rated health (SRH), assuming that it is a valid and comparable measure of generic health. However, given SRH’s vagueness, this assumption is questionable due to (1) manifold non-health influences, such as personal characteristics including optimism, interviewer effects on the rating, and cultural contexts, as well as (2) potential gender, age- or country-specific expectations for one’s health or frames of reference. Conceptually, two major components of SRH can be distinguished: latent health and reporting behavior. While latent health exclusively refers to objective health status, reporting behavior collectively refers to non-health characteristics (NH) affecting SRH. The present paper is primarily concerned with the latter and aims to identify whether and how NH bias SRH, including possible differences by gender, age, and country of residence. The presented analyses are based on data from 16,183 participants in five countries drawn from the fifth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Latent health is controlled via a wide array of health indicators and the residuals are examined with a model covering NH from three different sources: the interviewer, the respondent, and the country of residence. To identify subgroup-specific response behaviors, all analyses are carried out separately by gender, three age groups (50-64, 65-79, and 80+ years), and country of residence. The analyses uncovered influences of – among others–the interviewer’s SRH, the respondent’s life satisfaction, and the country of residence on SRH, while other factors differed by subgroup. The amount of explained variance due to such reporting behavior (with a mean of seven percent) can be deemed meaningful, considering that controlling for latent health already explains around half of SRH’s variance. The greatest source of non-health influences was respondent characteristics, with the interviewer and country having smaller effects. These results illustrate the importance of taking NH into account when using SRH measures. Future research on complementing SRH with factual questions in survey design is advisable. * This article belongs to a special issue on “Levels and Trends of Health Expectancy: Understanding its Measurement and Estimation Sensitivity”


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