Family, Fertility and Internal Migration in Norway: A Linked Lives Perspective

Michael J. Thomas , Statistics Norway
Lars Dommermuth, Statistics Norway

Demographers interested in fertility and migraiton have typically restricted their focus to the timing, occurrence and interaction of events within the individual’s life or, at most, among members of the same household. Such restrictions are unfortunate as they ignore one of the most appealing aspects of Glenn Elder’s original depiction of the life course approach – the ‘linked lives’ perspective. Referring to the way in which individual life courses are embedded within networks of social relationships, the linked lives perspective helps inform us of the ways in which ties to significant others outside of the household can shape individual fertility and migration decisions. In this paper we seek to examine the relationship between fertility, internal migration and the presence and location of extended family networks. We apply discrete-time multiprocess event-history and probit analysis to geocoded Norwegian population register data collected on a 1982-86 birth cohort. Using a multilevel multiprocess approach, we account for the endogeneity that exists between fertility, family ties and migration, and move beyond the ‘one life-event-at-a-time’ approach by examining first, second and subsequent fertility/migration events. With many European countries implementing policies seeking to increase the role of family in social care, empirical studies examining the links between kinship networks, care provision and demographic outcomes would seem increasingly valuable for policy makers as well as academics.

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 Presented in Session 110. Life Course: Linked Lives