Population 2014, n° 2
- Comparing the Rate of Individual Senescence Across Time and Space - Giambattista Salinari, Gustavo De Santis
- The TRA Survey, a Historical Matrix - Jérôme Bourdieu, Lionel Kesztenbaum, Gilles Postel-Vinay
- Sibship Sizes and Family Sizes in Survey Data Used to Estimate Mortality - Bruno Masquelier
Decomposition of Trends in Non-Marital Childbearing in Poland - Anna Baranowska-Rataj
Inconsistencies in the Number of Children Reported in Successive Waves of the French Generations and Gender Survey
The ERFI survey (Étude des relations familiales et intergénérationnelles) is the French version of the international Generations and Gender Survey. The same respondents were interviewed three times, in 2005, 2008 and 2011. Although the survey was designed to avoid redundant questions from one wave to the next, a respondent’s family situation is likely to change over time. In each wave respondents were therefore asked about their children living in the dwelling, those living elsewhere and those deceased. The results of these separate questionnaire modules were then summed to give the total number of children (no direct question about the total was included). Substantial under-reporting of children in Waves 2 and 3 of the French survey was observed. This article aims to measure the extent of the omissions in order to alert potential users of the data, to identify which children “disappear” and establish whether this corresponds to particular respondent profiles. More broadly, the study calls into question the method of summing the children recorded in various parts of the same questionnaire in order to determine the respondent’s total number of children, and suggests that similar verifications should be made in other GGS surveys.
Comparing the Rate of Individual Senescence Across Time and Space
Giambattista Salinari, Gustavo De Santis
At adult ages x, the force of mortality increases more or less exponentially with age, and the parameter associated with age, β, can be used to gauge the rate of senescence (ageing) of a generation. The hypothesis has recently been advanced that the rate of senescence at the individual level may be a biological constant, not far from 0.1. This article contributes to this discussion in two ways: first, it proposes a simple method based on standard longitudinal panel data analysis to compare the rate of senescence β between different cohorts and groups when frailty and period effects operate, and, secondly, it offers a few empirical estimates of β, by gender, for various cohorts, in different countries. The proposed methodology is applied to data taken from the Human Mortality Database for selected birth cohorts (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland), born between 1878 and 1912, observed at ages 65 to 98, in the calendar years 1943 to 2010. The rate of senescence β appears indeed to be close to 0.1: most of the differences that emerge from the analysis (by country, gender, birth cohort or age), although statistically significant, are very small in absolute terms, especially for women.
The TRA Survey, a Historical Matrix
Jérôme Bourdieu, Lionel Kesztenbaum, Gilles Postel-Vinay
The TRA project is a unique research approach based on the nationwide collection of historical individual-level data on the personal, occupational and economic situation of people having married or died between the early nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century. Coinciding with the release of the first part of the data produced by the project, this article looks at the project’s founding principles and sources before going on to assess its geographical and temporal representativeness. Taking as an example the trend in the proportion of individuals leaving no wealth behind when they die, as established using the database, a tool such as this provides an interesting basis for writing an economic history that is both micro- and macro-social. Our analysis then shows how the approach adopted for the TRA project can be extended to any new individual-level data. This is the very principle and purpose of the TRA project, which, far from being closed, is a matrix for studying the transformations that have affected French society and many other societies over the last two centuries.
Sibship Sizes and Family Sizes in Survey Data Used to Estimate Mortality
Survey data on sibling survival provide a crucial source of information for estimating adult mortality in countries where vital records are incomplete. This article assesses the quality of these data by comparing sibship sizes reported in Demographic and Health Surveys with women’s mean number of children ever born in the previous generation. This comparison, conducted at aggregate level, suggests that a high proportion of siblings are omitted, since the sibship sizes are 15% lower, on average, than would be expected on the basis of number of children ever born. Such omissions are more frequent in sub-Saharan Africa than in other developing regions, and their extent increases slightly with the respondents’ age. Adult mortality deduced from these data is not necessarily underestimated, however, since omissions appear to mainly concern siblings who died in childhood.
Decomposition of Trends in Non-Marital Childbearing in Poland
The aim of this paper is to decompose the increase in the share of out-of-wedlock births in Poland into two components: one attributed to the changing structure of births based on marital status at conception, and one related to the declining propensity for shotgun weddings. Analysis of data from the Birth Register 1985-2009 shows that a decline in the propensity to marry among single pregnant women played an important role in the diffusion of non-marital childbearing, especially in the last decade. In urban areas, the impact of the declining propensity for shotgun weddings was greater than in rural areas. This is consistent with the notion that rural areas are a more traditional context for family formation. It seems that in villages, social pressure still inhibits the diversification of family forms more strongly than in cities.