Fertility Timing and Intergenerational Income Mobility: The Case of Southern Sweden 1905-2015

Gabriel Brea-Martinez, Centre for Economic Demography-Economic History Lund University
Martin Dribe, Lund University

A large literature on intergenerational mobility stress the importance of parental investments on children socioeconomic outcomes. It argued that larger families were detrimental to upward mobility, through aspects related to fertility, and great attention has been devoted to the role of sibship size and birth order. However, issues related to the timing of childbearing for socioeconomic outcomes has largely been neglected in previous research. In this paper, we analyze the relationship between fertility, and especially fertility timing, and intergenerational income mobility, and how this relationship evolved during the 20th century up to 2015. We use longitudinal data for a region in southern Sweden with data on individual income and a number of other sociodemographic variables. Besides analyzing the association between number of siblings and intergenerational income mobility, we study the role of birth order, age of mother, and birth spacing. We argue that the timing of fertility contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the persistence of social status across generations as well as how upward economic mobility can be fostered among families of lower economic background.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 229. Various aspects of Fertility