Cultural Inheritance and Fertility Transition

Li Zhang, Virginia Commonwealth University
Mike Alvard, Texas A&M University
Chris Cherry, Texas A&M University

In this article, we examine the role of unbiased cultural traits inherited from parents in influencing fertility transition. We hypothesize that the unbiased cultural traits that are inherited from parents rather than from non-parental sources lead to a greater resemblance between fertility outcomes of the parents and the offspring. Thus, unbiased cultural traits are likely to prevent the fertility transition. Results based on examining data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) Cycle 6 provide empirical support to our hypotheses. We find that the U.S. women who reported the same religious affiliations as those of their parents also reported a greater number of children; their first births are less likely to be outside of marriage and their likelihood of making transition from first marriage to giving first birth is higher than those who reported different religious affiliations as those of their parents.

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Presented in Poster Session 4