161 research outputs found

    The specification of the propensity score in multilevel observational studies

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    Propensity Score Matching (PSM) has become a popular approach to estimation of causal effects. It relies on the assumption that selection into a treatment can be explained purely in terms of observable characteristics (the ‚Äúunconfoundedness assumption‚ÄĚ) and on the property that balancing on the propensity score is equivalent to balancing on the observed covariates. Several applications in social sciences are characterized by a hierarchical structure of data: units at the first level (e.g., individuals) clustered into groups (e.g., provinces). In this paper we explore the use of multilevel models for the estimation of the propensity score for such hierarchical data when one or more relevant cluster-level variables is unobserved. We compare this approach with alternative ones, like a single level model with cluster dummies. By using Monte Carlo evidence we show that multilevel specifications usually achieve reasonably good balancing in cluster level unobserved covariates and consequently reduce the omitted variable bias. This is also the case for the dummy model.propensity score, multilevel studies, unconfoundedness, causal inference

    Grandparenthood, grandchild care and depression among older people in 18 countries

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    Due to the increasing central role of grandparenthood in later life, sound knowledge about its effects on older people‚Äôs health is more and more important. This paper examines the impact of becoming a grandparent, having more grandchildren, and engaging in grandchild care on depressive symptoms. Moreover, based on the structural ambivalence theory, we expect that such effects differ across contexts as (grand)childcare is differently organised across Europe. Taking advantage of the longitudinal structure of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we estimate fixed-effects models. Our results show that women face a decline in depressive symptoms when becoming grandmothers, but neither an increase in the number of grandchildren nor changes in grandchild care are associated with changes in depressive symptoms. The analyses by country highlight differences across Europe, without, however, drawing a clear pattern. Our results show that depression consequences of grandparenthood also vary between countries characterised by similar roles of grandparents. This suggests the need to make available more refined questions about grandparenthood in surveys on older people.Aufgrund der zunehmend zentralen Rolle von Gro√üelternschaft im sp√§teren Leben wird fundiertes Wissen zu deren Auswirkungen auf die Gesundheit √§lterer Menschen immer wichtiger. Dieses Papier untersucht die Auswirkungen des √úbergangs in die Gro√üelternschaft der Geburt weiterer Enkelkinder sowie des Engagements in der Enkelkinderbetreuung auf depressive Symptome. √úberdies erwarten wir auf der Grundlage der Theorie der strukturellen Ambivalenz, dass sich die St√§rke dieser Effekte zwischen verschiedenen Kontexten unterscheidet, da die (Enkel-)Kinderbetreuung innerhalb Europas unterschiedlich organisiert ist. Unter Nutzung der L√§ngsschnittstruktur des Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) sch√§tzen wir Fixed-Effects-Modelle. Unsere Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Frauen einen R√ľckgang der depressiven Symptome erleben, wenn sie erstmals Gro√üm√ľtter werden, aber weder eine Erh√∂hung der Anzahl der Enkelkinder noch Ver√§nderungen in der Enkelkinderbetreuung sind mit Ver√§nderungen der depressiven Symptomatik verbunden. Die Analysen nach L√§ndern zeigen Unterschiede innerhalb Europas auf, ohne dass jedoch ein klares Muster zu erkennen ist. Unsere Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die depressionsbezogenen Folgen einer Gro√üelternschaft auch zwischen L√§ndern variieren, in denen die Rollen der Gro√üeltern √§hnlich gepr√§gt sind. Dies legt nahe, dass in Umfragen unter √§lteren Menschen die Fragen zur Gro√üelternschaft weiterentwickelt werden m√ľssen

    Forever young? Prevalence and correlates of feeling old

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    Counting the number of birthdays a person has experienced from birth until a certain point in time i.e. chronological age, is a crude measure of ageing. Individuals with the same chronological age and health, may have different perceptions of ageing. We use a unique dataset, representative of the Italian population aged 65-74, to explore the factors associated with the perception of feeling old

    Family histories and the demography of grandparenthood

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    BACKGROUND Grandparenthood is an important phase of life for many individuals, and the grandparent role has consequences on younger generations and grandparents themselves. OBJECTIVE Despite the importance of the grandparent role, little is known about the demography of grandparenthood. In this study, we examine the variability of demographic aspects of grandparenthood (being a grandparent, number of grandchildren, having at least one young grandchild) according to family (partnership and fertility) histories. METHODS Using retrospective data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we employ sequence and cluster analyses to group individuals according to similar patterns of fertility and partnership histories observed between age 15 and 49. In a second step, we use logistic and Poisson regressions to quantify how demographic aspects of grandparenthood vary across the identified family clusters at different ages and by gender. RESULTS Family histories are greatly heterogeneous with respect to timing, quantum, and probability of experiencing certain events. This heterogeneity is reflected in a strong variability in the probability of having (young) grandchildren and their number at different ages across the clusters of family trajectories. CONTRIBUTION We provide a detailed profile of three demographic characteristics of grandparenthood that significantly influence the opportunity structure for the development of the grandparent role. Our study quantifies considerable heterogeneities in the demography of grandparenthood according to different typologies of family histories and has important implications for the understanding of current and possible future developments of the grandparent role

    Time Preferences and Fertility: Evidence from Italy

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    none3noBackground: Fertility decisions, as all life actions, imply a balancing of anticipated costs and benefits whose expectations are formed under uncertainty. Fertility research has addressed the backward reasonings (e.g., socioeconomic, psychological, biological factors) influencing fertility decisions. Yet, the role of forward factors, such as the preference for immediate but lower benefits versus future but higher benefits, in influencing fertility decisions has been overlooked. Objective: Time preferences, also referred to as impatience, is a personal characteristic that has been found to influence different types of decisions, from financial investments to schooling decisions. The present study is the first that empirically explores whether this trait represents a determinant of human reproductive behaviors. Methods: Data are from the Survey on Household Income and Wealth carried out by the Bank of Italy every two years on a sample of about 8,000 households. In particular, we make use of a question included in the 2004, 2008, 2010, and 2012 waves to examine whether, controlling for backward factors, impatience affects parity progressions. Results: Results from logistic regression models indicate an inverse U-shaped association between impatience and the transition to the first and second child during the observation period, meaning that for very impatient and very patient individuals the probability of having a first and second child is lower than for individuals within intermediate levels of impatience. Conclusions: The empirical finding points to the importance of considering time discounting preferences (as well as other forward-looking factors) in fertility research to gain a more complete understanding of fertility behaviours. Contribution: The orientation toward the future plays an important role in predicting fertility behavior. TDP as a a basis for inter-temporal decision making represent a key factor to better understanding contemporary fertility decision-making processes.noneBellani, Daniela; Arpino, Bruno; Vignoli, DanieleBellani, Daniela; Arpino, Bruno; Vignoli, Daniel

    There is no evidence of a COVID-19 baby boom in Europe ‚Äď but there is of a bust

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    Francesca Luppi, Bruno Arpino,and Alessandro Rosina find that the effect of the pandemic on fertility intentions is negative across Europe. Such consequences only exacerbate the effects of the Great Recession, as both crises have affected the fertility plans of the same generation

    COVID-19 precautionary behaviors and vaccine acceptance among older individuals: The role of close kin

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    The family plays a central role in shaping health behaviors of its members through social control and support mechanisms. We investigate whether and to what extent close kin (i.e., partner and children) matter for older people in taking on precautionary behaviors (e.g., wearing a mask) and vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. Drawing on data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we combine its Corona Surveys (June to September 2020 and June to August 2021) with pre-COVID information (October 2019 to March 2020). We find that having close kin (especially a partner) is associated with a higher probability of both adopting precautionary behaviors and accepting a COVID-19 vaccine. Results are robust to controlling for other potential drivers of precautionary behaviors and vaccine acceptance and to accounting for coresidence with kin. Our findings suggest that policymakers and practitioners may differently address kinless individuals when promoting public policy measures

    How Do Changes in Gender Role Attitudes Towards Female Employment Influence Fertility? A Macro-Level Analysis

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    This study explores whether the diffusion of gender-equitable attitudes towards female employment is associated with fertility. We argue that any positive effect on fertility requires not only high levels of gender-equitable attitudes overall, but also attitude convergence between men and women. We analyse 27 countries using data from the World Values Surveys and European Values Studies. We find support for a U-shaped relationship between changes in gender role attitudes and fertility: an initial drop in fertility is observed as countries move from a traditional to a more gender-symmetric model. Beyond a certain threshold, additional increases in gender egalitarianism become positively associated with fertility. This curvi-linear relationship is moderated by the difference in attitudes between men and women: when there is more agreement, changes are more rapid and the effect of gender egalitarian attitudes on fertility strengthens

    Changes in Grandparental Childcare During the Pandemic and Mental Health: Evidence From England

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    OBJECTIVES: Policies aiming at reducing rates of hospitalization and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) encouraged older people to reduce physical interactions. In England, until July 2021, provision of care for grandchildren was allowed only under very limited circumstances. Evidence also suggests that reduced face-to-face interactions took a toll on mental health during the pandemic. This study aims to investigate associations between changes in grandchild care provision during the first 8/9 months of the pandemic and grandparents' mental health. METHODS: Using prepandemic data from Wave 9 (2018/2019) and the second COVID-19 substudy (November/December 2020) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, we first describe changes in grandchild care provision during the pandemic to then investigate, using regression models, associations between changes in grandchild care provision and mental health (depression, quality of life, life satisfaction), while controlling for prepandemic levels of the outcome variables. RESULTS: About 10% of grandparents stopped looking after grandchildren altogether during the first 9 months of the pandemic, with 22% reporting an overall decrease in the amount of grandchild care provided. Compared to grandparents who mostly maintained unchanged their grandchild care provision, those who stopped altogether and those who mostly reduced the amount of grandchild care provided were more likely to report poorer mental health, even accounting for prepandemic health. DISCUSSION: While measures to limit physical contact and shield older people were necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, policymakers should acknowledge potential adverse consequences for mental health among grandparents who experienced changes in their roles as grandchild caregivers

    Satisfacci√≥n con la vida seg√ļn la contribuci√≥n a la esfera p√ļblica y privada en las parejas espa√Īolas adultas

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    Our goal is, taking the gender revolution as a reference, to explore whether the relative contribution to the economy of the household and to carry out the domestic tasks of the household are associated with the life satisfaction of adult Spanish women and men seaparately who live with a partner. For this purpose we use linear regression models to analyze the data from the pooled Spanish samples of the European Social Surveys of 2004 and 2010. In Spain there are two different situations defined by the different economic capacity of the household: in households without economic difficulties, gender behaviors have a lower influence on levels of satisfaction with life; however, in those housholds with economic difficulties the more traditional gender profiles are associated with a greater male satisfaction, unlike in the female case.El objetivo del trabajo es, tomando como referencia la revoluci√≥n de g√©nero, explorar si la desigual participaci√≥n relativa en la provisi√≥n de recursos econ√≥micos y la realizaci√≥n de las tareas dom√©sticas en el hogar se asocia con diferencias en los niveles de satisfacci√≥n con la vida para las mujeres y hombres adultos que conviven en pareja en Espa√Īa. Para ello, se analizan mediante modelos de regresi√≥n lineal las muestras espa√Īolas para la Encuesta Social Europea de 2004 y 2010 conjuntamente. En Espa√Īa se observan dos situaciones diferentes definidas por la distinta capacidad econ√≥mica del hogar: en los hogares sin dificultades econ√≥micas, los comportamientos de g√©nero tienen una menor influencia sobre los niveles de satisfacci√≥n con la vida; sin embargo, en aquellos con dificultades econ√≥micas los perfiles de g√©nero m√°s tradicionales se asocian con una mayor satisfacci√≥n masculina, al contrario que en el caso femenino
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