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Does fertility behavior spread among friends?

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Author Info

  • Nicoletta Balbo
  • Nicola Barban

Abstract

This paper investigates how social interactions among friends shape fertility. We specifically examine whether and how friends’ fertility behaviour affects an individual’s transition to parenthood. By integrating insights from economic and sociological theories, we elaborate on the mechanisms via which interactions among friends might affect an individual’s risk of becoming a parent. By exploiting the survey design of the Add Health data, we follow a strategy that allows us to properly identify interaction effects and distinguish them from selection and contextual effects. We engage in a series of discrete time event history models with random effect at the dyadic level. Results show that, net of confounding effects, a friend’s childbearing increases an individual’s risk of becoming a parent. We find a short-term, curvilinear effect: an individual’s risk of childbearing starts increasing after a friend’s childbearing, it reaches its peak around two years later, and then decreases.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP050.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in its series Working Papers with number 050.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:050

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Related research

Keywords: transition to parenthood; add-health; social interaction; peer effect;

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References

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  1. Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2007. "Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks," Cahiers de recherche 0705, CIRPEE.
  2. Belinda Diaz & Thomas Fent & Alexia Prskawetz & Laura Bernardi, 2011. "Transition to Parenthood: The Role of Social Interaction and Endogenous Networks," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 559-579, May.
  3. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2001. "Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244591, September.
  4. Wilde, Joachim, 2000. "Identification of multiple equation probit models with endogenous dummy regressors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 309-312, December.
  5. FFF1Francesco NNN1Billari, 2004. "Becoming an Adult in Europe: A Macro(/Micro)-Demographic Perspective," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(2), pages 15-44, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Laura Bernardi & Andreas Klaerner, 2014. "Social networks and fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(22), pages 641-670, March.
  2. Nicoletta Balbo & Nicola Barban & Melinda Mills, 2013. "Friend and peer effects on entry into marriage and parenthood: A multiprocess approach," Working Papers 056, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.

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