The intergenerational transmission of fertility

TitleThe intergenerational transmission of fertility
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBernardi, L
Book TitleEmerging trends in the social and behavioral sciences
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place PublishedEtats-Unis, Hoboken
Keywordsinheritance, intergenerational transmission, social influence, social norms, socialization

The intergenerational transmission of fertility has direct consequences on population dynamics and is indirectly related to the reproduction of social inequality. Early studies focused on the positive correlation of parents and children fertility outcomes such as family size or childbearing timing. Explanations for the observed correlations have spanned from genetic and social status inheritance mechanisms to role modeling and socialization processes based on social learning and social influence. More recently, the focus has shifted from fertility outcomes to similarities and dissimilarities of family formation patterns across generations, framing fertility in the context of interrelated life course trajectories. Recent cutting-edge research has also expanded upon the existing literature by focusing on the role played by multigenerational relationships and by bidirectional influence processes in parents-children fertility behaviors. Challenges for future research are provided by the need to disentangle the interplay between genes and culture in defining tastes and preferences for given values and norms related to fertility and the increasing family complexity and migration that interfere with socialization processes.

Refereed DesignationRefereed