Socioeconomic status and net fertility during the fertility decline: a multilevel-comparative study on historical populations

Martin Dribe, Lund University
J. David Hacker, Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY)
Francesco Scalone, Università di Bologna

Recently there has been a renewed interest in the socioeconomic aspects of reproduction during the first demographic transition. While most previous work on historical fertility decline has been macro-oriented, using aggregate data to examine economic correlates of demographic behavior at regional or national levels, much less has been done using micro data, and specifically looking at behavioral differentials among social groups. In this paper we look at the impact of socioeconomic status on net fertility (surviving children) during the fertility transition in five Northern American and European Countries (Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the USA). Micro-level census data covering the entire population in 1900 will be used. The data contain information on number of children by age, occupation of the mother and father, place of residence and household context. Coding occupations in HISCO and classifying them into a social class scheme (HISCLASS) enables us to study the impact of socioeconomic status on number of children under 5, controlling for spatial variations in social stratification.

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Presented in Session 2: Families and households