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Multilevel models for cross-national comparisons: the association between individual and national-level demographic characteristics in fertility and partnerships

Multilevel models for cross-national comparisons: the association between individual and national-level demographic characteristics in fertility and partnerships
Multilevel models for cross-national comparisons: the association between individual and national-level demographic characteristics in fertility and partnerships
Multilevel models are increasingly used in social sciences and demography to both account for clustering within higher level aggregations and evaluate the interaction between individual and contextual information. While this is justifiable in some studies, the extension of multilevel models to national level analysis- and particularly cross-national comparative analysis- is problematic and can hamper the understanding of the interplay between individual and country level characteristics. This paper proposes an alternative approach, which allocated countries to classes based on economic, labour market and policy characteristics. Classes influence the profiles of three key demographic behaviours at a sub-national level: marriage, cohabitation and first birth timing. Individual data are drawn from a subset of the Harmonized Histories dataset, and national level information from the GGP contextual database. In this example, three country classes are extracted reflecting two Western patterns and an Eastern pattern, divided approximately along the Hajnal line. While Western countries tend to exhibit higher levels of family allowances albeit accounting for a lower share of spending which is associated with lower marriage and later fertility, Eastern countries generally show a higher share of spending but at lower absolute levels with lower cohabitation rates and early fertility.
multilevel models, latent class analysis, cross-national, marriage, cohabitation, fertility
71
University of Southampton
Lyons-Amos, Mark
ceedb006-c671-4e2d-8fed-bef1cf40603d
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2
Lyons-Amos, Mark
ceedb006-c671-4e2d-8fed-bef1cf40603d
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2

Lyons-Amos, Mark , McGowan, Teresa (ed.) (2015) Multilevel models for cross-national comparisons: the association between individual and national-level demographic characteristics in fertility and partnerships (ESRC Centre for Population Change Working Papers, 71) Southampton, GB. University of Southampton 30pp.

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

Multilevel models are increasingly used in social sciences and demography to both account for clustering within higher level aggregations and evaluate the interaction between individual and contextual information. While this is justifiable in some studies, the extension of multilevel models to national level analysis- and particularly cross-national comparative analysis- is problematic and can hamper the understanding of the interplay between individual and country level characteristics. This paper proposes an alternative approach, which allocated countries to classes based on economic, labour market and policy characteristics. Classes influence the profiles of three key demographic behaviours at a sub-national level: marriage, cohabitation and first birth timing. Individual data are drawn from a subset of the Harmonized Histories dataset, and national level information from the GGP contextual database. In this example, three country classes are extracted reflecting two Western patterns and an Eastern pattern, divided approximately along the Hajnal line. While Western countries tend to exhibit higher levels of family allowances albeit accounting for a lower share of spending which is associated with lower marriage and later fertility, Eastern countries generally show a higher share of spending but at lower absolute levels with lower cohabitation rates and early fertility.

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More information

Published date: 26 October 2015
Keywords: multilevel models, latent class analysis, cross-national, marriage, cohabitation, fertility
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography, Centre for Population Change

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Local EPrints ID: 383398
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/383398
PURE UUID: 847989b1-dee7-4cf8-bfc7-a34584e6ca4e

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Date deposited: 02 Nov 2015 15:03
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:13

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