Barbara Okun - Hebrew University of Jerusalem

How grandparental death and aging affect the fertility of adult children: A demographic analysis

    Date:  10/05/2017 (Thu)

    Time:  3:00pm- 4:30pm

    Location:  Gross Hall 270

    Organizer:  Giovanna Merli


Meeting Schedule: Login or email the organizer to schedule a meeting.

    All meetings will be in Gross Hall 230K unless otherwise noted.

    3:00pm - Seminar Presentation (3:00pm to 4:30pm)


    Additional Comments:  **Please note the time of this seminar is 3:00-4:30** Abstract: Recent literature has emphasized that in some contexts grandparents play an important role in the fertility of their adult children; yet, less is known about what happens when grandparents age and die. The goal of this paper is to estimate relationships between grandparental aging and death and the fertility of their adult children. Based on individual fixed effects models using Israeli population registry data linked with multiple rounds of census data, we find that grandparental death is associated with a reduction of approximately 1 to 2 percentage points in the annual probability of childbirth among their adult children. The effects of grandparental death are similar when considering grandmothers and grandfathers, as well as women's parents and their spouses' parents. Effects remain surprisingly stable across birth orders and do not vary much with the number of children the grandparents have. However, the effects of a death are stronger when the death has occurred more recently, and when grandparent and adult child were living in the same locality prior to the death. In terms of grandparental aging, annual probabilities of childbirth among adult women increase with grandparental aging through the 50s, plateaus in the 60s, and begin to decline slightly in the 70s; effects are broadly similar across all grandparents. Given that aging and death of grandparents are essentially exogenous to the behavior of their adult children, we discuss possible mechanisms driving these causal relationships.