Siblings’ Fertility Peer Effects: An Extended Family Causal Estimate

Federica Querin , Princeton University

Individuals’ fertility decisions are shaped by their own characteristics, their peers, and their family of origin. Not only is fertility intergenerationally correlated, but it can also spread through social and familial ties. However, there is an endogeneity issue to address. Building on studies that have deployed offspring sex composition as a source of exogenous variation in fertility, this work extends this approach to the extended, multigenerational family. In particular, I use the grandchildren sex-mix as exogenous variation to study siblings’ peer effects for the middle generation. Indeed, preferences for sex-mix remain, but the widespread two-child norm might render the extended family the relevant domain for it, thanks to the grandparents’ social pressure and support. Using the PSID, I expect to find positive siblings peer effects, especially for first births to parents who have at least two nephews or nieces (but not nephews and nieces) and whose parents are still living.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2