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Statistics seminar 2018: Social and spatial connectivity in the fertility transition using Agent-based models

17/04/2018 dalle 11:00 alle 13:00

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Sebastian Klüsener
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Diffusion and adaptation hypotheses play an important role in the debate on the fertility transition: Do couples adopt fertility-controlling strategies mainly in response to new attitudes spreading in societies, or are they predominantly adapting to changing socioeconomic circumstances? While there is strong empirical evidence for the latter, support for the former is frequently weaker as communication processes are more difficult to measure than socioeconomic change. This paper takes an innovative perspective to explore which frequently observed fertility decline patterns across social groups and space could potentially stem from information diffusion. We specify agent-based simulation models in which migration links between regions stratified by social status serve as proxies for communication links. Our models on Sweden and Senegal demonstrate that virtually all major social and spatiotemporal characteristics of the decline that were observed in many countries around the world could stem from communication processes structured by variation in communication links.

Francesco Scalone