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Correlations in fertility across generations: can low fertility persist?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Demografiska enheten (SUDA))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7175-4040
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 281, no 1779, 20132561- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Correlations in family size across generations could have a major influence on human population size in the future. Empirical studies have shown that the associations between the fertility of parents and the fertility of children are substantial and growing over time. Despite their potential long-term consequences, intergenerational fertility correlations have largely been ignored by researchers. We present a model of the fertility transition as a cultural process acting on new lifestyles associated with fertility. Differences in parental and social influences on the acquisition of these lifestyles result in intergenerational correlations in fertility. We show different scenarios for future population size based on models that disregard intergenerational correlations in fertility, models with fertility correlations and a single lifestyle, and models with fertility correlations and multiple lifestyles. We show that intergenerational fertility correlations will result in an increase in fertility over time. However, present low-fertility levels may persist if the rapid introduction of new cultural lifestyles continues into the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 281, no 1779, 20132561- p.
Keyword [en]
fertility, intergenerational transmission of fertility, differential fertility, demographic transition, cultural evolution, socialization
National Category
Sociology Biological Sciences
Research subject
Sociological Demography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102458DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2561ISI: 000332382700009OAI: diva2:710821


Available from: 2014-04-08 Created: 2014-04-07 Last updated: 2014-09-03Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Multigenerational Processes in Demography
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multigenerational Processes in Demography
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Contemporary social science research has often focused on nuclear family relationships, and has largely neglected kinship and family outside the nuclear household. In this doctoral thesis I explore demographic issues from a multigenerational perspective, using Swedish register data and mathematical modeling. In different chapters I examine intergenerational transmission of fertility—the relationship between the number of siblings and other kin, and the fertility of an individual. The thesis demonstrates the possibilities for empirical research on family and kinship based on Swedish register data. Unique linkage opportunities across three and four generations are applied to previously unexplored research questions. The studies in the thesis demonstrate the importance of kin outside the household, such as grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins, for fertility and family dynamics.

Abstract [sv]

Samhällsvetenskaplig forskning har i hög grad varit fokuserad på kärnfamiljer, och i lägre grad undersökt släktskap utanför hushållet. Den här avhandlingen undersöker demografiska frågor utifrån ett flergenerationsperspektiv med hjälp av svenska registerdata och matematisk modellering. I de olika studierna undersöker jag den sociala överföringen av barnafödande mellan fler generationer—sambanden mellan antalet syskon och andra familjemedlemmar, och en persons barnafödande. Avhandlingen demonstrerar hur svenska registerdata möjliggör empirisk forskning om familj och släktskap. De unika kopplingsmöjligheterna över tre till fyra generationer appliceras på tidigare outforskade forskningsfrågor. Avhandlingen visar vikten av släktskap utanför kärnfamiljen, så som far/mor-föräldrar samt kusiner, för familjedemografiska processer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2014. 64 p.
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 12
demography, kinship, intergenerational transmission, multigenerational demography, fertility, grandparents, Sweden, distance, cultural evolution
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-106987 (URN)978-91-7447-976-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-04, A2, Universitetsvägen 10 A, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164
Available from: 2014-09-11 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2014-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Kolk, MartinEnquist, Magnus
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