Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Fertility - a Multigenerational Approach to Disentangle the Mechanisms of Transmission

Martin Kolk, Stockholm University

A number of studies have documented consistent patterns of intergenerational transmission of fertility. Most of these studies have been descriptive in nature and there is still no consensus of the underlying mechanism for the observed associations. Swedish registry data on childbearing histories, demographic events and socioeconomic can be used to disentangle the various possible explanations of observed fertility continuities. Data is collected for the Swedish 1970-1982 cohorts (N= 277,200 women & 219,040 men) who are linked with parents and grandparents. Event history models are used in which young men’s and women’s childbearing histories are studied with covariates on own and parental and grandparental characteristics. Results indicates that some of the associations can be explained by education and socio economic status but that most intergenerational associations appear to be explained by transmission of values and preferences on family size. Genetic heritability of fecundity seems to be of minor importance.

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Presented in Poster Session 5