How many people in the world today are extremely poor? This simple question is, perhaps unsurprisingly, extremely difficult to answer. However, since 1990, The World Bank has attempted to provide an answer by publishing comprehensive estimates of “extreme poverty” that are now widely used to monitor and appraise global policy and poverty reduction strategies. This is the well-known “dollar-a-day” international poverty line, based originally on a sample of developing country’s national poverty lines from the 1980s. (The so-called “dollar-a-day” now stands at $1.90 per day in light of updated global price data.)
Since the 1980s, policies have increasingly encouraged housing provision by the private market. Programs to de-commodify housing such as rent regulations or social housing programs have gradually been terminated and replaced by policies to promote the delivery of housing through profit-making actors. Selling or demolishing social housing, liberalizing rents, or promoting homeownership have come to dominate the policy landscape, not just in Britain or the US, but also across many Western European countries. Programs such as the British Right-To-Buy, HOPE VI in the US, or the Dutch urban restructuring program are widely known, if only exemplary of this wider trend.
Some pretty striking cross-local-authority correlations have been reported in the media since the referendum result was announced. For example, the percentage voting Leave appears to have a strong negative relationship with both average education and average income across local authorities.
As Britain prepares to go to the polls for the EU referendum, immigration is a key issue. Those worried by the adverse economic effects of an ageing population sometimes claim that immigration can offset these effects by increasing the proportion of working-age people. It is a claim challenged by a new study of long-term trends by Michael Murphy published in the journal Population Studies.
Couples’ fertility control is most often perceived as a rational decision-making process, thereby assuming that people – and women in particular – who want to prevent conception will rely on the most effective method available. Accordingly, it is argued that the introduction of hormonal methods in advanced economies was paralleled by a linear transition from irrational ineffective methods to rational effective ones.
In the United States, just under half (48.1%) of partnered women aged 25–44 using contraception rely on sterilization for fertility control. In our recent study, Gender, Class, and Contraception in Comparative Context: The Perplexing Links between Sterilization and Disadvantage (2016), Megan Sweeney and I show that levels of contraceptive sterilization are similarly high in Australia (39.6% of partnered women aged 25–44 using contraception), but they tend to be much lower and more variable across Europe. With the exception of Australia and Belgium, female sterilization is more common than male sterilization in all of the countries studied (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Germany, Romania, Russia, and the United States), despite the latter being simpler, more effective, less often regretted, more economical, and having lower rates of minor and major complications.
Today’s retirees are a cohort where the husband has traditionally been the dominant breadwinner. As such, family migration for this generation demonstrates the powerful role of the husband in the decision to move. Decisions were influenced by the husband’s employment, career and earning capacity with the wife/female partner widely acknowledged as a ‘trailing wife’, ‘tied mover’ or ‘married to her husband’s job’. In other words, she was prepared to move for the sake of her husband’s career even if it resulted in a negative effect on her own employment prospects.
There is a well-established empirical association between parental age and children’s well being. Typically, children of teenage parents and parents with a very late age at first birth are worse off in terms of their socio-economic status and (mental) health compared to children of 20-35 years old mothers. So far, this relationship has been attributed to unstable relationships of young parents and their low economic resources as well as the decreasing (physical) health of older parents which, for example, may complicate conception, pregnancy and birth (for an excellent demographic introduction into the topic please check out the dissertation of Alice Goisis at LSE: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/844/).
The well-being of the elderly in any society is important as improved health facilities and policies have made the elderly population among one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the world today. In India the elderly population has grown from about 19.8 million in 1951 to 100 million in 2011 and the projections indicate that the number of persons older than sixty years is likely to increase to 198 million by 2030 (Government of India, 2008; ET, 2012). The growing share of the elderly population may have severe consequence in a country like India where the credit and financial markets are not adequately developed.
Improving educational attainment is important for achieving population targets and meeting economic development goals in low-income countries. Over the past few decades, targeted stipend programs have been used to improve the school attainment in poor populations in countries as diverse as Turkey, Mexico, and Brazil. The principal behind these programs is simple: cash or in-kind incentives are provided to targeted poor households conditional upon children’s school attendance. Evaluations of stipend programs show positive impacts across contexts: stipend programs improve enrollment and attainment and – in some cases – delay the start of marriage and childbearing. Continue reading