Does fertility behavior spread among friends?
This paper investigates how social interactions among friends shape fertility. We specifically examine whether and how friendsÃ fertility behaviour affects an individualÃs transition to parenthood. By integrating insights from economic and sociological theories, we elaborate on the mechanisms via which interactions among friends might affect an individualÃs 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 friendÃs childbearing increases an individualÃs risk of becoming a parent. We find a short-term, curvilinear effect: an individualÃs risk of childbearing starts increasing after a friendÃs childbearing, it reaches its peak around two years later, and then decreases.
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