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Intergenerational transmission of fertility intentions and behaviour in Germany: the role of contagion

  • Markus Kotte
  • Volker Ludwig

This study investigates whether the fertility behaviour of significant others, in particular of one's parents and siblings, affects individuals' own fertility intentions and behaviour. Using the data of three cohorts of young Germans, we test the hypothesis that `contagion' by siblings with young children explains the transmission of fertility patterns across generations. In theory, transmission might be explained by contagion, or transmission and contagion might operate independently of each other. The results show strong evidence for the transmission of fertility intentions and behaviour from parents to their offspring. Evidence for contagion by siblings is weak and contagious effects therefore do not explain transmission.

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File URL: http://epub.oeaw.ac.at/0xc1aa500d_0x002a70fc
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Article provided by Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna in its journal Vienna Yearbook of Population Research.

Volume (Year): 9 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 207-226

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Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:9:y:2011:i:1:p:207-226
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

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  1. Douglas Anderton & Noriko Tsuya & Lee Bean & Geraldine Mineau, 1987. "Intergenerational transmission of relative fertility and life course patterns," Demography, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 467-480, November.
  2. Alison L. Booth & Hiau Joo Kee, 2009. "Intergenerational Transmission of Fertility Patterns," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(2), pages 183-208, 04.
  3. 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.
  4. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  5. Joshua R. Goldstein & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2011. "Has East Germany Overtaken West Germany? Recent Trends in Order‐Specific Fertility," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 37(3), pages 453-472, 09.
  6. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Isabel Günther & Sebastian Linnemayr, 2008. "Social Interactions and Fertility in Developing Countries," PGDA Working Papers 3408, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  7. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  9. Sunnee Billingsley, 2010. "The Post-Communist Fertility Puzzle," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 193-231, April.
  10. William Axinn & Marin Clarkberg & Arland Thornton, 1994. "Family influences on family size preferences," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 65-79, February.
  11. Thomas Pullum & Douglas Wolf, 1991. "Correlations between frequencies of kin," Demography, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 391-409, August.
  12. Torkild Lyngstad & Alexia Prskawetz, 2010. "Do siblings’ fertility decisions influence each other?," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 923-934, November.
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