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The Fertility Pattern of Twins and the General Population Compared: Evidence from Danish Cohorts 1945-64

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Author Info

  • Hans-Peter Kohler

    (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Lisbeth B. Knudsen

    (Aalborg University)

  • Axel Skytthe

    (University of Southern Denmark, Odense)

  • Kaare Christensen

    (University of Southern Denmark, Odense)

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    Abstract

    Twin studies provide an important possibility for demographers to analyze patterns of heritability and to estimate structural models with controls for endowments. These possibilities are increasingly used in the context of fertility and related behaviors. A close congruence between the fertility patterns of twins and that of the general population, however, is an essential pre-condition in order to generalize the results of twin-based investigations of fertility and related behaviors to the general population. In this paper we therefore compare the fertility of Danish twins born 1945--64 to the fertility pattern of the general population born during the same period. Our analyses find a very close correspondence between the fertility pattern of twins and of the general population. There exist only few statistically significant differences, and the primary difference pertains to the fact that female twins have a slightly later onset of childbearing than non-twins. There are virtually no relevant differences between the fertility patterns of dizygotic and monozygotic twins.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 6 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 14 (May)
    Pages: 383-408

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:6:y:2002:i:14

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

    Related research

    Keywords: cohort fertility; Denmark; fertility; twin studies;

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    References

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    1. Tomas Frejka & Gérard Calot, 2001. "Cohort Reproductive Patterns in Low-Fertility Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 103-132.
    2. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," NBER Working Papers 6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
    4. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-74, December.
    5. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Life-Cycle Labor Supply and Fertility: Causal Inferences from Household Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 328-48, April.
    6. Heckman, James J & Hotz, V Joseph & Walker, James R, 1985. "New Evidence on the Timing and Spacing of Births," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 179-84, May.
    7. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2000. "The impact of union formation dynamics on first births in West Germany and Italy: are there signs of convergence?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. G. Calot & T. Frejka, 2001. "L'évolution du calendrier des naissances par génération dans les pays à basse fécondité à la fin du XXe siècle," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 56(3), pages 397-420.
    9. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
    10. Hans-Peter Kohler & Joseph L. Rodgers & Kaare Christensen, 1999. "Is Fertility Behavior in Our Genes? Findings from a Danish Twin Study," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 253-288.
    11. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1996. "College Choice and Wages: Estimates Using Data on Female Twins," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 672-85, November.
    12. repec:att:wimass:9217 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    14. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1999. ""Ability" biases in schooling returns and twins: a test and new estimates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-167, April.
    15. Hans-Peter Kohler & Axel Skytthe & Kaare Christensen, 2001. "The age at first birth and completed fertility reconsidered: findings from a sample of identical twins," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    16. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures:," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(7), pages 145-190, March.
    17. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
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