Descent Line Growth and Extinction from a Multigenerational Perspective

Xi Song, University of California, Los Angeles
Cameron D. Campbell, University of California, Los Angeles
James Z. Lee, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

This study explores how social inequality, status transmission, and reproductive differentials interacted to shape population composition over the long term. The key question is whether and to what extent the socioeconomic status of descent line founders had long-term effects on the growth rate of their descent lines generations later, even after controlling for the number and characteristics of descendants in intervening generations. We make use of two multigenerational datasets that cover populations at opposite ends of the social spectrum in Qing China (1644-1911). One is the China Multigenerational Panel Dataset - Liaoning (CMGPD-LN). The other is the genealogy of the Qing Imperial Lineage. These datasets allow us relate numbers of descendants as many as 150 years later to the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of founders, and the numbers and socioeconomic characteristics of members of intervening generations. Our investigation of multigenerational effects will illuminate micro-level mechanisms of population renewal and change.

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Presented in Session 152: Demographic Perspectives on Inequality