Elo, Irma T.

Email Address
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Research Interests

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 16
  • Publication
    Eliciting Maternal Subjective Expectations about the Technology of Cognitive Skill Formation
    (2013-06-17) Cunha, Flávio; Elo, Irma T.; Culhane, Jennifer F.
    In this paper, we formulate a model of early childhood development in which mothers have subjective expectations about the technology of skill formation. The model is useful for understanding how maternal knowledge about child development affects the maternal choices of investments in the human capital of children. Unfortunately, the model is not identified from data that are usually available to econometricians. To solve this problem, we conduct a study where mothers were interviewed to elicit maternal expectations about the technology of skill formation. We interviewed a sample of socioeconomically disadvantaged African‐American women. We find that the median subjective expectation about the elasticity of child development with respect to investments is between 4% and 19%. In comparison, when we estimate the technology of skill formation from the CNLSY/79 data, we find that the elasticity is between 18% and 26%. We use the model and our unique data to answer a simple but important question: What would happen to investments and child development if we implemented a policy that moved expectations from the median to the objective estimates that we obtain from the CNLSY/79 data? According to our estimates, maternal investments would go up by between 4% and 24% and the stocks of cognitive skills at age 24 months would subsequently increase between 1% and 5%. Needless to say, the impacts of such a policy would be even higher for mothers whose expectations were below the median.
  • Publication
    Consistency of Age Reporting By Cause of Death Among Elderly African-American Decedents
    (1996-07-18) Hussey, Jon M.; Elo, Irma T.
    Because age is associated with many biological and social phenomena, accurate age data are critical for researchers exploring the societal impact of population aging and for policy makers deciding how to best allocate resources to this burgeoning group. Of particular importance is the quality of age data for the rapidly expanding elderly population. Past research has shown the quality of these data to be questionable for the U.S. elderly population, particularly for African-Americans (Hambright 1969; Kestenbaum 1992; National Center for Health Statistics [NC HS] 1968; Rosenwaike 1979; Rosenwaike and Logue 1983). A recent study comparing 1987 death certificates from Massachusetts and Texas with matched Social Security/Medicare files, for example, found exact age agreement in the two data sources for 94.6% of non-Hispanic whites aged 65 and over but only for 72. 6% of African Americans (Kestenbaum 1992: Table 4). Age agreement deteriorated more rapidly with advancing age among blacks than among whites; for those aged 85 and over, exact age agreement was found for 91.7% of non-Hispanic whites compared with only 63.2% of African Americans.
  • Publication
    Adult Mortality Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: A Review of the Evidence
    (1996-10-01) Elo, Irma T.
    Mortality estimates have consistently pointed to a sizable health advantage for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders compared to white Americans, but a question remains as to whether mortality estimates for Asian/Pacific Islanders are reliable. This paper presents mortality estimates for Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Other Asian and Pacific Islanders, all Asian and Pacific Islanders combined, and for white Americans in 1989-91 based on vital statistics and census data, and for Asian and Pacific Islanders and whites based on the National Longitudinal Mortality Survey. The paper reviews evidence on data quality and discusses possible biases in estimated death rates. It ends with a brief discussion of cause specific mortality differentials. Relative to whites, Asian and Pacific Islanders are found to have lower mortality at ages 25 and above. Lower death rates from heart disease and cancer among Asian/Pacific Islanders than white Americans account for most of the all cause differentials at ages 45+. Substantial uncertainty remains, however, about the exact level of mortality among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders residing in the United States.
  • Publication
    Using Successive Censuses to Reconstruct the African-American Population, 1930-1990
    (1996-12-01) Preston, Samuel H.; Elo, Irma T.; Gale, Lynn
    The Census Bureau's program to estimate the completeness of decennial census counts for age, sex, and race groups relies principally upon what it terms "demographic analysis." The essence of this approach is to introduce extraneous information on the number of births, deaths, and migrations, derived from non-census sources, to estimate the true size of each birth cohort at the time of a census (Robinson et al., 1993; Himes and Clogg, 1992). Comparison of this alternative estimate to the census count provides an estimate of the degree of under - or over-enumeration in the census, often termed the census undercount. Acceptance of the estimated undercount implies that the census itself is irrelevant to estimating the true size of the population; whatever deficiencies it contained would be accurately and completely revealed by comparison to the estimate based on demographic analysis.
  • Publication
    Are Educational Differentials in Mortality Increasing in the United States?
    (1994-08-01) Preston, Samuel H.; Elo, Irma T.
    Because of the value that individuals place on health and longevity, levels of mortality are among the most central indicators of social and economic well-being. Analysts are concerned not only with the average level of mortality but also with its distribution among social groups, which is a fundamental indicator of social inequality. The principal dimension on which these assessments are now made in the United States is educational attainment. The decisive shift from occupational groups, the classic dimension used by the Registrar-General of England and Wales, to educational groups as the basis for assessment occurred with the publication of Kitagawa and Hauser's (1973) major study of American mortality differentials in 1960. Educational attainment has two main advantages relative to occupation and income, the other common indicators of social stratification. It is available for people who are not in the labor force; and its value is less influenced by health problems that develop in adulthood. Since health problems can lead to both high mortality and low income, comparisons of death rates of different income groups, for example, are biased by their mutual dependence on a third variable, the extent of ill health. For these reasons, educational attainment has become the principal social variable used in epidemiology as well as in demography (Liberatos et al. 1988).
  • Publication
    Effects of Age Misreporting on Mortality Estimates at Older Ages
    (1997-09-01) Preston, Samuel H.; Elo, Irma T.; Stewart, Quincy
    This study examines how age misreporting typically affects estimates of mortality at older ages. We investigate the effects of three patterns of age misreporting & age overstatement, age understatement, and symmetric age misreporting & on mortality estimates at ages 40 and above. We consider five methods to estimate mortality: conventional estimates derived from vital statistics and censuses; longitudinal studies where age is identified at baseline; variable-r procedures based on age distributions of the population; variable-r procedures based on age distributions of deaths; and extinct generation methods. For each of the age misreporting patterns and each of the methods of mortality estimation, we find that age misstatement biases mortality estimates downwards at the oldest ages.
  • Publication
    Health of Native-born and Foreign-born Black Residents in the United States: Evidence from the 2000 Census of Population and the National Health Interview Survey
    (2008-07-03) Elo, Irma; Mehta, Neil; Huang, Cheng
    Utilizing the 5% Public Use Micro Data Sample (PUMS) from the 2000 Census of Population and 2000-2006 waves of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), we examine differences in disability, self-rated health and chronic conditions among native-born and foreign-born black US residents. Among the foreign-born, we distinguish among immigrants from the Caribbean /West Indies, Africa, Europe and other regions of the world, as well as by Hispanic origin. Results from both data sets point to an immigrant health advantage across all measures of health for all groups except for the European-born. Black immigrants from Europe reported similar levels of hypertension as U.S.-born non-Hispanic blacks. Our results also suggest that the Hispanic health “paradox” does not apply to Hispanics who self-identify as black.
  • Publication
    Africans in the American Labor Market
    (2015-08-25) Elo, Irma T.; Frankenberg, Elizabeth; Gansey, Romeo; Thomas, Duncan
    The number of migrants to the United States from Africa has grown exponentially since the 1930s. For the first time in America’s history, migrants born in Africa are growing at a faster rate than migrants from any other continent. The composition of African-origin migrants has also changed dramatically: in the midtwentieth century, the majority were white and came from only three countries; but today, about one-fifth are white, and African-origin migrants hail from across the entire continent. Little is known about the implications of these changes for their labor market outcomes in the United States. Using the 2000–2011 waves of the American Community Survey, we present a picture of enormous heterogeneity in labor market participation, sectoral choice, and hourly earnings of male and female migrants by country of birth, race, age at arrival in the United States, and human capital. For example, controlling a rich set of human capital and demographic characteristics, some migrants— such as those from South Africa/Zimbabwe and Cape Verde, who typically enter on employment visas—earn substantial premiums relative to other African-origin migrants. These premiums are especially large among males who arrived after age 18. In contrast, other migrants—such as those from Sudan/Somalia, who arrived more recently, mostly as refugees—earn substantially less than migrants from other African countries. Understanding the mechanisms generating the heterogeneity in these outcomes— including levels of socioeconomic development, language, culture, and quality of education in countries of origin, as well as selectivity of those who migrate—figures prominently among important unresolved research questions.
  • Publication
    Age-Linked Institutions and Age Reporting Among Older African Americans
    (1995-09-01) Preston, Samuel H.; Hill, Mark E.; Elo, Irma T.; Rosenwaike, Ira
    With economic and technological development, numerical age became an important dimension of social differentiation in the United States. The vast majority of Americans now have the ability to report their own age and the ages of relatives with accuracy. Nevertheless, studies have found that age misreporting remains substantial for older African Americans. This paper describes levels of age misreporting and investigates the determinants of age reporting accuracy on the death certificates of a national sample of native-born African Americans aged 65+. Consistent with previous studies, levels of age misreporting are found to be high. When checked against childhood census records, only 53% of the death certificate ages are found to be correctly reported; slightly over 10% are misstated by five years or more. Multivariate results provide compelling evidence that the quality of age reporting critically depends on interaction with age-linked institutions.
  • Publication
    Childhood Conditions and Adult Health: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study
    (1998-06-01) Elo, Irma T.
    Poor health and premature death are direct manifestations of biological processes influenced by genetic, environmental, and life style factors. These factors operate throughout the life course and interact in complex ways to produce observed differentials in adult health and mortality. To explain these differentials, authors of most studies have typically examined the role of adult environment, employing such explanatory factors as socioeconomic status (e.g., education, income and wealth), health-related behaviors (e.g., smoking and exercise), and social support (kin and social networks and marriage) (see for example Adler et al. 1994; Feinstein 1993; House et al. 1994; Kaplan and Keil 1993; Lillard and Waite 1995; Lynch et al. 1996; Menchik 1993; Preston and Taubaman 1994; Rogers et al. 1996).