Extended Kinship Networks, Socioeconomic Resources, and Reproductive Behavior during the Demographic Transition

Heidi Hanson, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Thomas Maloney, University of Utah
Geraldine P. Mineau, University of Utah

Fertility decisions have varied over time and space and the initiation and rate of fertility decline is the result of a combination of multiple factors that include changes in wages and in wealth flows, ideational change, and the influence of cultural settings and diffusions. Using a unique resource that has proven valuable for describing family formation, this study investigates how extended kinship networks and the socioeconomic resources of kin affect reproductive behavior during a period of fertility transition on the American Frontier. The sample comprises 23,216 subjects of reproductive age enumerated in the 1880 US Census and linked to the Utah Population Database. Using data from both the Utah Population Database and the 1880 Census, we find that the socioeconomic resources of kin affect fertility history. Our results also suggest that this relationship may vary by the geographic proximity of kin.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior