Intergenerational and Intragenerational Correlations in Family Size across Time: Fertility Continuities in Northern Sweden between 1750 and 2007

Martin Kolk, Stockholm University
Johan Dahlberg, Stockholm University

We use digitized parish registers from the Skellefteå region in northern Sweden from 1750 to 1950, and connects it to contemporary Swedish administrative registers for the complete Swedish population to study intergenerational transmission of fertility. Central for many aspects of reproductive behavior in the past is the extent of an individual’s control of their fertility. If this influence on fertility is transmitted across generations there will be intergenerational correlations in family size. Thus, we can create time series of unparalleled length, and answer previously unknown questions about the extent and transformation of intergenerational transmission of fertility over time. In addition to intergenerational correlations we estimate the correlation in family size between brothers and sisters to further estimate the role of parental background on fertility outcomes. Our results give a better understand the phenomenon of intergenerational fertility correlations and our understanding of the extent of family influences of fertility over time.

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Presented in Session 214: Fertility and Family Formation in Europe, 1750 to the Present