nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2024‒04‒15
three papers chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas, University of Wisconsin

  1. Health in early adulthood and fertility: a study based on the 1958 British cohort By Eleonora Trappolini; Giammarco Alderotti; Alyce Raybould
  2. Fortunate Families? The Effects of Wealth on Marriage and Fertility By Cesarini, David; Lindqvist, Erik; Östling, Robert; Terksaya, Anastasia
  3. Pathways of family change: a typology of multipartnered fertility life courses in five Northern European countries By Stefano Arnolfo; Nicole Hiekel

  1. By: Eleonora Trappolini (Sapienza University of Rome); Giammarco Alderotti (University of Florence); Alyce Raybould (University College London)
    Abstract: Although the relationship between health and fertility in low-income settings has been well explored by demographers, it is surprisingly lacking from equivalent studies in high-income contexts. In this study, we use data from the 1958 National Child Development Study to understand how self-rated health and BMI reported at age 23 relate to achievement of fertility goals by age 46. We found that worse self-reported health and being outside of the healthy weight BMI category at 23 was strongly associated with having fewer children and underachieving fertility goals set at age 23 by 46. These results remained when controlling for socioeconomic controls like education and union history. Our findings suggest that health in early adulthood is an important determinant, whether direct or indirect, for individuals’ family life course trajectories. This paper strongly endorses the inclusion of health as an explanatory variable for all studies of fertility in high-income contexts.
    Keywords: health; fertility; fertility intentions; BMI; self-rated health; life course; United Kingdom
    JEL: J13
    Date: 2024–01
  2. By: Cesarini, David (Department of Economics, New York University); Lindqvist, Erik (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University); Östling, Robert (Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics); Terksaya, Anastasia (Department of Economics and IEB, Universidad de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of large, positive wealth shocks on marriage and fertility in a sample of Swedish lottery players. For male winners, wealth increases marriage formation and reduces divorce risk, suggesting wealth increases men’s attractiveness as prospective and current partners. Wealth also increases male fertility. The only discernible effect on female winners is that wealth increases their short-run (but not long-run) divorce risk. Our results for divorce are consistent with a model where the wealthier spouse retains most of his/her wealth in divorce. In support of this assumption, we show divorce settlements in Sweden often favor the richer spouse.
    Keywords: Fertility; children; marriage; divorce
    JEL: D01 J12 J13
    Date: 2024–04–08
  3. By: Stefano Arnolfo (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Nicole Hiekel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: This study investigates the heterogeneity of multipartnered fertility (MPF) trajectories in the Northern European context, where transformations in family formation patterns and in the partnership context of childbearing, together with high social acceptance for new family behaviours, result in a large degree of family life course differentiation. Applying sequence and cluster analyses to high-quality partnership and fertility histories of men and women who experience MPF from the Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, and Finnish Generations and Gender Survey Round II collected between 2020 and 2022, we provide a timely description of how MPF trajectories unfold, and identify a typology of these family life courses. Our findings reveal that in the five countries, various trajectories of MPF co-exist that differ substantially in terms of the order and timing of union formation and dissolution, and the partnership context of births. Furthermore, we investigate gender and socioeconomic inequalities, and reflect on the potential vulnerabilities nested within MPF life courses and the additional layer of disadvantage that childbearing can represent for mothers vis-à-vis fathers in the context of family complexity.
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2024

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