Can Immigration Really Offset the Adverse Economic Effects of Ageing Populations? Not According to New Research at the London School of Economics

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.

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Contraception as a Rational Choice or Social Practice?

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.

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Will the Affordable Care Act Eliminate Perplexing Inequalities in Contraceptive Sterilization?

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.

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The Emergence of a ‘Trailing Husband’ Phenomenon Following Retirement

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.

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The Causal Effect of a Genetic Liability for Schizophrenia on the Age at First Birth

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/).

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Compelled to Work for Wages: The Story of Old-Age Wage Labour Participation in India

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.

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Targeted to Whom? Stipend Programs, Inequality and School Attainment in Rural Bangladesh

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


Children’s Economic Well-Being in Same-Sex Mother Families

While there is increasing support for same-sex parent families and recent state-wide legalization of marriages to same-sex couples in the U.S., there is only a small body of research that examines the economic, academic, social, or psychological well-being of children living in same-sex parent families (Manning et al. 2014).  There are increasing numbers of children residing in same-sex couple parent families, but a key constraint has been that there are relatively few data sets with ample numbers of children residing in same-sex parent families.

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When Deaths Exceed Births: Natural Decrease in Europe and the United States

Natural decrease occurs when deaths in an area exceed births. If such natural decrease is prolonged, there is a substantial risk of population loss. Seventeen European nations had more people dying than being born between 2000 and 2009, including several of Europe’s most populous countries. The United States, in contrast, has always seen births exceed deaths by a substantial margin. Our research focuses on the prevalence and dynamics of natural decrease in subareas of Europe and the United States in the first decade of the twenty-first century. We found that 58 percent of the 1,391 counties of Europe (NUTS3 units) had more deaths than births during that period compared to just 28 percent of the 3,137 U.S. counties. (See Figure 1)

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