Kinship relationships and reproductive biographies in Italy

Laura Bernardi, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Paola Di Giulio, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Given the time self-referentiality of the reproductive life course the length of a given birth interval is partially determined by the lengths of previous intervals and birth sequences seem to follow recognizable patterns. In this paper we use cluster analysis on variables like age at birth and spacing between births to identify reproductive patterns in Italy, classifying women with completed fertility records according to the temporal sequence with which they bore their children. Taking a regional perspective, we check whether the clustering of reproductive patterns reflects cultural patterns of family relationships testing cultural hypotheses on fertility outcomes. We employ regression techniques to relate the distribution of specific clusters to characteristics of kinship relationships. Data come from the two Italian nationally representative surveys, the Family and Social Subjects (1998 and 2003), which contain rich information on individual reproductive, educational, and employment histories as well as on the extent and kind of exchanges among kinship members.

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Presented in Poster Session 1