Does Parental Death Affect Fertility? A Register-Based Study of the Effect of Parental Death on Childbearing in Sweden

Johan Dahlberg, Stockholm University

This study examines the link between parents' mortality and their offspring fertility by studying the long- and short term effect of parental death during the reproductive age. The long term effect of parental death is measured as permanent childlessness while the short-term outcome is measured as propensity to have children directly after the death of a parent. The study shows that both male and female have significantly higher fertility directly after a parental death. This is most likely a recovery after having had lower fertility rate prior to the parent's death. Despite this high recovery, individuals who experienced a parental death never fully recovers and remains at a higher probability of end up in permanent childlessness. This relationship is especially true for male offspring who experience the loss of one or both parents during the reproductive age.

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Presented in Session 19: Intergenerational Impacts on Health and Demographic Events