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  • Education, Ethnicity and Reproductive Practice in Cameroon - J. Johnson-Hanks
  • The Family Networks of People aged 60 and over. Living at Home or in an Institution - A. Désesquelles, N. Brouard
  • Changes in Infant Mortality in Réunion in the Last Fifty Years - M. Barbieri, C. Catteau

Vietnam: Issues of Inequality, Gender and Health

  • Are Sex Ratios at Birth Increasing in Vietnam? - D. Bélanger, Khuat T. H. O., Liu J., Le T. T., Pham V. T.

Short paper

  • Income and Health Dynamics in Vietnam: overty Reduction, Increased Health Inequality - Thang M. N., B. M. Popkin

Education, Ethnicity, and Reproductive Practice in Cameroon
Johnson-Hanks Jennifer

It is often observed that educated women have lower birth rates than do the less educated, inviting a causal interpretation. However, educated women also differ from those who have never attended school in a variety of other ways: the two factors are multiply related. This article analyzes the relationship between schooling and fertility in contemporary Cameroon as both a statistical and a social phenomenon, using data from the 1998 Cameroon DHS alongside ethnographic field data collected by the author. These data show that educated Cameroonian women marry later and bear fewer children than their uneducated counterparts, in keeping with patterns established comparatively. However, educated women have higher annual premarital fertility rates than do the uneducated, in opposition to the predictions of most causal models. The article argues that these statistical patterns result from the high degree of selection into school. Educated girls come from communities that are more tolerant of premarital sex, place greater emphasis on the importance of developing individual character, and accord a less central role to marriage in women’s lives. Together, these social differences matter as much for reproductive outcomes as does schooling.

The Family Networks of People aged 60 and over Living at Home or in an Institution
Désesquelles Aline, Brouard Nicolas

In 1998 and 1999, the French National Institute of Statistics (INSEE) carried out the Disability, Functional Limitations, Dependency survey (Handicaps-Incapacités-Dépendance, known as the HID survey) on 15,000 people living in medical and social institutions and 17,000 people living in private households. The questionnaire for this survey explores the functional limitations of physical and mental origin suffered by the respondents, but it also deals with numerous other facets of their living conditions, notably their family environments.
The results presented in this article are based on these data, and are limited to people aged 60 and over. We show that the family circles of elderly people living in institutions are more limited than those of people living in private households. This "disadvantage" of people living in institutions is one cause of the higher frequency of relational isolation observed in institutions, but other factors also intervene. In particular, age and the existence of a dependency, which is known to be the case for a large majority of people in institutions, are associated with a lower intensity of relations with close family.

Changes in Infant Mortality in Réunion in the Last Fifty Years
Barbieri Magali, Catteau Christine

Changes in infant mortality in Réunion since the end of the Second World War have been among the most rapid in the world. Whereas the infant mortality rate was over 165 per 1,000 births fifty years ago, it is currently under 10‰. All the components of infant mortality have contributed to this reduction even though each has evolved at its own pace. This evolution has been accompanied by substantial changes in the structure by cause of death, with a sharp decline in infectious and respiratory diseases and a growing proportion of deaths from perinatal disorders and congenital anomalies. Generalized access to health care and the medicalization of pregnancies and childbirth have undoubtedly contributed to reducing infant mortality, but changes in reproductive behaviour and other socio-economic factors have also contributed to the progress observed. Concerns remain, however, regarding children born in the most deprived socio-economic categories.


Are Sex Ratios at Birth Increasing in Vietnam?
Bélanger Danièle, Khuat Thi Hai Oanh, Liu Jianye, Le Thanh Thuy, Pham Viet Thanh

Research has identified that low fertility and son preference have led to high sex ratios at birth in India, South Korea and China. In this paper, we present sex ratios at birth from the 1989 and 1999 population censuses of Vietnam, from hospital data for Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and from the 1997-98 Vietnam Living Standards Survey.
Overall, census data do not show any increase in the sex ratio at birth. Hospital data by birth order for the year 2001, however, suggest that sex ratios at birth increase by birth order among births recorded in the hospital located in Hanoi, but not in the one located in Ho Chi Minh City. Survey data from the Vietnam Living Standards Survey of 1997-98 indicate that high parity children are more likely to be sons. In the discussion, factors that could explain the findings are reviewed.

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