The California Center for Population Research is a multidisciplinary Center for demographic research and graduate training. Founded in 1998, the Center is a cooperative venture of UCLA faculty from a variety of disciplines, including Economics, Geography, Medicine, Public Health, Public Policy, and Sociology. The Center receives financial support from the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences and from faculty research grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
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Impact of Formal Education of Women on Reproductive Behavior in Four Socio-Cultural Contexts in the Soconusco Region of Chiapas (Translation of Spanish Version)
This paper analyzes demographic changes that occurred between 1977 and
1996, in four socio-cultural contexts in the Soconusco Region of Chiapas, Mexico. It is
based on a socio-demographic random sample survey that compiled primary (1139
household groups) and secondary (population and agricultural census) information.
The results based on cohort analysis provide evidence for the existence of
various fertility trends among the different socio-cultural contexts. In average urban
settlements, fertility has remained low stable, and in rural indigenous settlements it has
also remained stable, but high. Only in rural mestizo and marginal urban communities
have there been overall and significant fertility declines. In marginal urban settlements,
in spite of showing a generalized fertility decline, adolescent fertility has increased.
These trends are closely related to the changes in schooling levels achieved by
females, particularly with secondary or higher education, as well as with modifications in
the age at first union. There has been a reduction in the proportion of women
completing secondary education in all of the socio-cultural contexts, which goes handin-
hand with the economic polarization of the region.
Based on models of impact evaluation, it is possible to conclude that due to the
characteristics of the Soconusco “with elevated macroeconomic development and deep
social polarization”, the State’s efforts must be primordially oriented to improving the lot
of the population, especially with regards to average education of women.
Past work on the relationship between cohabitation and childbearing shows that cohabitation increases fertility compared to being single, and does so more for intended than unintended births. Most work in this area, however, does not address concerns that fertility and union formation are joint processes, and that failing to account for the joint nature of these decisions can bias estimates of cohabitation on childbearing. For example, cohabitors may be more likely to plan births because they see cohabitation as an acceptable context for childbearing; alternatively, they may be more likely to marry than their single counterparts. In this paper, I use a modeling approach that accounts for the stable, unobserved characteristics of women common to nonmarital fertility and union formation as a way of estimating the effect of cohabitation on nonmarital fertility net of cohabitors’ potentially greater likelihood of marriage. I distinguish between intended and unintended fertility to better understand variation in the perceived acceptability of cohabitation as a setting for childbearing. I find that accounting for unmeasured heterogeneity reduces the estimated effect of cohabitation on intended childbearing outside of marriage by up to 50%, depending on race/ethnicity. These results speak to cohabitation’s evolving place in the family system, suggesting that cohabitation may be a step on the way to marriage for some, but an end in itself for others.
This paper presents results from a field experiment designed to test whether savings constraints prevent the self-employed from increasing the size of their businesses. We opened interest-free savings accounts in a local village bank in rural Kenya for a randomly selected sample of poor daily income earners (such as market vendors), and collected a unique dataset constructed from selfreported logbooks that respondents filled on a daily basis. Despite the fact that the savings accounts paid no interest and featured substantial withdrawal fees, take-up and usage was high among women. In addition, we find that the savings accounts had substantial, positive impacts on productive investment levels and expenditures for women, but had no effect for men. These results imply that a substantial fraction of daily income earners face important savings constraints and have a demand for formal saving devices (even for those that offer negative de facto interest rates). We also find some suggestive evidence that female entrepreneurs draw down their working capital in response to health shocks, and that the accounts enabled the treatment group to cope with these shocks without having to liquidate their inventories. JEL Codes: O12, G21, L26
California made history on September 23, 2002, when the nation’s first comprehensive paid family leave program was signed into law by former governor Gray Davis. Benefits provided by this pioneering legislation became available to most working Californians starting on July 1, 2004. The new law provides up to six weeks of partial pay – 55% of weekly earnings up to a maximum of $728 per week – for eligible employees who need time off from work to bond with a new child or to care for a seriously ill family member. The program, funded entirely by a payroll tax on employees, builds on California’s existing State Disability Insurance (SDI) system, which for many years has provided income support for employees’ medical and pregnancy-related leaves. Like SDI, the new paid family leave program is extensive (although not universal) in coverage: apart from some selfemployed persons, virtually all private sector employees are included.1 California’s new law is especially valuable for the growing numbers of low-wage workers, many of them female, who currently have limited access to employer-sponsored fringe benefits providing paid time off (such as paid sick leave and paid vacation). Until July 1, 2004, such benefits were the main sources of income support for employees who took leaves from work to bond with a new child or to provide care for a seriously ill family member.
After briefly reviewing the various developments contributing to the recent growth in demand for time off from work as well as the political processes that led to the passage of California’s pioneering paid family leave legislation, this chapter analyzes new data on paid family leave from two recent state-level surveys—the fall 2003 Golden Bear Omnibus (GBO) survey of California adults and the 2003 Survey of California Establishments (SCE) of employers.2 Although California adults responding to the GBO survey expressed overwhelming support for the idea of paid family leave, their awareness of the new law was surprisingly limited, with only about one in five respondents indicating that they were familiar with it. Awareness of the new law was especially low among the groups that are least likely to have access to employer-sponsored paid time off: women, low-wage workers,immigrants, and disadvantaged racial-ethnic groups. Ironically, these same groups expressed disproportionately favorable attitudes toward the idea of paid leave.
The survey data also provide insight into the ways in which, prior to the implementation of the new law, employers and employees in the state handled the kinds of events that the paid family leave program now covers. Many employed Californians have taken family leaves in the past, the GBO data show. And the data from the SCE survey reveal that many employers in the state—especially those that are unionized, those with large numbers of employees, and those with a relatively large proportion of professional, managerial, and technical employees—already provided family and medical leave benefits beyond those required by law before the establishment of the new paid family leave program. The recent extension of such benefits to the much larger population covered by the legislation passed in 2002 could be its most far-reaching effect; realizing that potential, however, will require increasing public awareness of the law substantially.