Social Mobility and Fertility Behavior in the Long Run. Applying Diagonal Reference Models (DRM) on Historical Demography (Southern Sweden, 1870-2015)

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

Social science has always been interested in the effect of social mobility on fertility behavior, bringing mixed evidence. Part of this is due to an identification problem. Accordingly, conventional models cannot disentangle which effects are due to social mobility, background, or origin alone. Diagonal reference models accurately estimate the additional impact of social mobility, net of background and destination classes, in different outcomes. In this sense, we propose to apply DRMs for the first time in historical demography to study how social mobility may have affected long-term fertility behavior. We use long-term longitudinal data for southern Sweden (Scania). Our first results show a decrease in the background importance over time and that social mobility related more with lower fertility in the past for couples during the fertility transition periods.

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 Presented in Session 31. Historical Demography