#1 Parental well-being surrounding first birth as a determinant of further parity progression Link logo PDF logo

Margolis, Rachel; Myrskylä, Mikko

Demography Volume 52, Issue 4, Pages 1147–1166

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A major component driving cross-country fertility differences in the developed world is differences in the probability of having additional children among those who have one. Why do people stop at having only one child? We hypothesize that the experience of the transition to parenthood is an important determinant of further fertility. Analyzing longitudinal data from Germany, we find that the experience during the transition to parenthood, as measured by changes in subjective well-being, predicts further parity progression. A drop in well-being surrounding first birth predicts a decreased likelihood of having another child. The association is particularly strong for older parents and those with higher education: these characteristics may be related to the ability or willingness to revise fertility plans based on prior experiences. Parents' experience with the first birth is an important and understudied factor in determining completed family size, and policy-makers concerned about low fertility should pay attention to factors that influence the well-being of new parents.


#2 "Predatory" open access: a longitudinal study of article volumes and market characteristics Open access logo PDF logo

Shen, Cenyu; Björk, Bo-Christer

BMC Medicine Volume 13, Issue 1

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A negative consequence of the rapid growth of scholarly open access publishing funded by article processing charges is the emergence of publishers and journals with highly questionable marketing and peer review practices. These so-called predatory publishers are causing unfounded negative publicity for open access publishing in general. Reports about this branch of e-business have so far mainly concentrated on exposing lacking peer review and scandals involving publishers and journals. There is a lack of comprehensive studies about several aspects of this phenomenon, including extent and regional distribution. After an initial scan of all predatory publishers and journals included in the so-called Beall's list, a sample of 613 journals was constructed using a stratified sampling method from the total of over 11,000 journals identified. Information about the subject field, country of publisher, article processing charge and article volumes published between 2010 and 2014 were manually collected from the journal websites. For a subset of journals, individual articles were sampled in order to study the country affiliation of authors and the publication delays. Over the studied period, predatory journals have rapidly increased their publication volumes from 53,000 in 2010 to an estimated 420,000 articles in 2014, published by around 8,000 active journals. Early on, publishers with more than 100 journals dominated the market, but since 2012 publishers in the 10-99 journal size category have captured the largest market share. The regional distribution of both the publisher's country and authorship is highly skewed, in particular Asia and Africa contributed three quarters of authors. Authors paid an average article processing charge of 178 USD per article for articles typically published within 2 to 3 months of submission. Despite a total number of journals and publishing volumes comparable to respectable (indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals) open access journals, the problem of predatory open access seems highly contained to just a few countries, where the academic evaluation practices strongly favor international publication, but without further quality checks.


#3 Is young fatherhood causally related to midlife mortality? A sibling fixed-effect study in Finland Link logo PDF logo

Einiö, Elina; Nisen, Jessica; Martikainen, Pekka

Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (1978) Volume 69, Issue 11, Pages 1077–1082

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Previous studies have shown that young fatherhood is associated with higher later-life mortality. It is unclear whether the association is credible, in the sense that mortality and young fatherhood appear to be associated because both are determined by family-related environmental, socioeconomic and genetic characteristics. We used a household-based 10% sample drawn from the 1950 Finnish census to estimate all-cause mortality of fathers born during 1940-1950. The fathers were followed from age 45 until death, or the end of age 54. We used a standard Cox model and a sibling fixed-effects Cox model to examine whether the effect of young fatherhood was independent of observed adulthood characteristics and unobserved early-life characteristics shared by brothers. Men who had their first child before the age of 22 or at ages 22-24 had higher mortality as compared with their brothers who had their first child at the median or mean age of 25-26. Men who had their first child later at ages 30-44 had lower mortality than their brothers who had a first child before the age of 25. The pattern of results from a standard model was similar to that obtained from a fixed-effects sibling model. The findings suggest a causal effect of young fatherhood on mortality and highlight the need to support young fathers in their family life to improve health behaviours and health.


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