Dr. Andrés Villarreal publishes article titled"Ethnic Identification and Its Consequences for Measuring Inequality in Mexico" in the American Sociological Review in August of 2014.
This article examines ethnic boundary crossing and its effects on estimates of ethnic disparities in children’s outcomes in the context of Mexico, a country with the largest indigenous population in the Western hemisphere. The boundary that separates the indigenous and non-indigenous population is extremely fluid, as it is based on characteristics that can easily change within a generation, such as language use, cultural practices, and a subjective sense of belonging. Using data from the Mexican Census, I examine the ethnic classification of children of indigenous parents. I find that movement across the ethnic boundary depends on which of the two criteria currently recognized by the Mexican Census is used. Children of indigenous parents are much less likely to be classified as indigenous according to language proficiency, especially when their parents have higher levels of education. By contrast, when proxy self-identification is used as a criterion, children of indigenous parents are more likely to be classified as indigenous, and greater parental education results in higher odds that children will be classified as indigenous. The shift in children’s indigenous classification with parental education strongly affects estimates of educational disparities between indigenous and non-indigenous children.
Congratulations to Dr. Villarreal for his latest article in ASR: Florencia Torche and Andrés Villarreal, "Prenatal Exposure to Violence and Birth Weight in Mexico: Selectivity, Exposure, and Behavioral responses."
We examine the effect of maternal exposure to local homicides on birth weight. We create a monthly panel by merging all births in Mexico from 2008 to 2010 with homicide data at the municipality level. Findings from fixed effects models indicate that exposure to homicides does not reduce fertility and may induce slight positive socioeconomic selectivity of women conceiving. Net of socioeconomic selectivity, exposure to homicides in the first trimester of gestation increases birth weight and reduces the proportion of low birth weight. The mechanism driving this surprising positive effect appears to be an increase in health - enhancing behaviors of mothers (particularly the use of prenatal care) as a result of the exposure to violence. The positive effect of homicide exposure varies across SES. It is strongest among low –SES women –but only those living in urban areas–and null among the most advantaged women. This variation suggests that behavioral responses to an increase in local homicides depend on a combination of increased vulnerability and access to basic resources that allow women to obtain prenatal care.