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Challenges in moving from macro to micro: Population and family structures in ageing societies

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  • Katharina Herlofson

    (NOVA - Norwegian Social Research)

  • Gunhild Hagestad

    (NOVA - Norwegian Social Research)

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    Abstract

    Assumptions are often made about how population ageing on the macro level has altered generational structures of families at the micro level. The purpose of this paper is to increase the awareness of challenges and potential pitfalls in bridging the two levels. To highlight these issues, two common claims found in the literature are questioned and discussed: that increased life expectancy leads to more multigenerational family structures and that reduced fertility means fewer children to care for frail parents. To illustrate, we use population statistics and survey data from selected countries.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 10 (August)
    Pages: 337-370

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:25:y:2011:i:10

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: family structure; gender; generation; micro and macro approaches; multigenerational family structures; population aging;

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    1. Gaetan Lafortune & Gaëlle Balestat, 2007. "Trends in Severe Disability Among Elderly People: Assessing the Evidence in 12 OECD Countries and the Future Implications," OECD Health Working Papers, OECD Publishing 26, OECD Publishing.
    2. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
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    5. Jürgen Dorbritz, 2008. "Germany: Family diversity with low actual and desired fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(17), pages 557-598, July.
    6. Michaela Kreyenfeld & Rembrandt D. Scholz & Frederik Peters & Ines Wlosnewski, 2010. "The German Birth Order Register - order-specific data generated from perinatal statistics and statistics on out-of-hospital births 2001-2008," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2010-010, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Maria Letizia Tanturri & Letizia Mencarini, 2008. "Childless or Childfree? Paths to Voluntary Childlessness in Italy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(1), pages 51-77.
    8. Carolyn J. Rosenthal & Anne Martin-Matthews & Sarah H. Matthews, 1996. "Caught in the Middle? Occupancy in Multiple Roles and Help to Parents in a National Probability Sample of Canadian Adults," Independence and Economic Security of the Older Population Research Papers, McMaster University 4, McMaster University.
    9. Bruce A. Carnes & S. Jay Olshansky, 2007. "A Realist View of Aging, Mortality, and Future Longevity," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(2), pages 367-381.
    10. Vicki Freedman & Eileen Crimmins & Robert Schoeni & Brenda Spillman & Hakan Aykan & Ellen Kramarow & Kenneth Land & James Lubitz & Kenneth Manton & Linda Martin & Diane Shinberg & Timothy Waidmann, 2004. "Resolving inconsistencies in trends in old-age disability: Report from a technical working group," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 417-441, August.
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