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Barbara Okun, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

How grandparental death and aging affect the fertility of adult children: A demographic analysis
When Mar 26, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

While grandparents are confronted with competing roles and obligations in the labor market and in multigenerational families, research has suggested that in some contexts, grandparents play an important role in the fertility of their adult children. What happens when grandparents age and die? Given the growing research attention that is being paid to the potential role of grandparents, it is important to lay out the contours of the relationships between grandparental aging and death and the fertility of their adult children. By treating the aging and death of grandparents as primarily exogenous to their adult children, Dr. Okun suggests that the effects estimated are causal in nature.

In this study, instead of relying on reports of possibly endogenous grandparental childcare or financial support, Dr. Okun and her colleague, Guy Stecklov, use data on the living status of grandparents as (more) exogenous indicators of the potential for grandparental care and financial assistance. They are able to document the relationships of interest about extended families and in a context where the roles of grandparents are expected to be important.

About the Speaker

Barbara Okun

Prof. Barbara S. Okun is a family and social demographer who has been affiliated with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem since her arrival from Princeton University in 1992. In most of her recent writing, she highlights the fascinating case that Israel presents as a demographic laboratory, influenced by an extraordinary history of migration and population change. At the same time, her research has illustrated how social issues in Israel can be examined in order to address theoretical concerns that are not unique to this country. In many of her papers, she challenges accepted theories on the basis of detailed empirical evidence which often goes against what one might think intuitively. She also emphasizes the documentation of empirical facts, trends, and differentials, which serve as a basis for a better understanding of the demography and sociology of population processes. She is currently working on projects related to fertility, extended family and men's roles in domestic labor.

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