Volume 44 - Article 1 | Pages 1–48
Simulating family life courses: An application for Italy, Great Britain, Norway, and Sweden
|Date received:||20 May 2020|
|Date published:||03 Jan 2021|
|Keywords:||family life course, fertility, Italy, microsimulation, Norway, partnerships, Sweden, United Kingdom|
|Additional files:||44-1 Appendices (pdf file, 839 kB)|
Background: Family patterns in Western countries have changed substantially across birth cohorts. The spread of unmarried cohabitation, the decline and postponement of marriage and fertility, and the rise in nonmarital births, partnership instability, and repartnering lead to an increasing diversity in family life courses.
Objective: In this paper we demonstrate how to set up a tool to explore family life trajectories. This tool models the changing family patterns, taking into account the complex inter-relationships between childbearing and partnership processes.
Methods: We build a microsimulation model parameterised using retrospective partnership and childbearing data. The data cover women born since 1940 in Italy, Great Britain, and two Scandinavian countries (Norway and Sweden), three significantly different cultural and institutional contexts of partnering and childbearing in Europe.
Results: We guide readers through the modelling of individual life events to obtain a set of aggregate estimates, providing information on the power, technical structure, and underlying assumptions of microsimulations. Validation of the simulated family life courses against their real-world equivalents shows that the simulations not only closely replicate observed childbearing and partnership processes, but also provide high quality predictions when compared to more recent fertility indicators.
Conclusions: Using observed population estimates to systematically validate the results both validates our model and increases confidence that microsimulations satisfactorily replicate the behaviour of the original population.
Contribution: We create and validate a microsimulation model that can be used not only to explore mechanisms throughout the family life course but also to set up scenarios and predict future family patterns.
Maria Winkler-Dworak - Vienna Institute of Demography (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Austria
Eva Beaujouan - Universität Wien, Austria
Paola Di Giulio - Vienna Institute of Demography (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Austria
Martin Spielauer - Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Austria
Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research
Delayed first births and completed fertility across the 1940–1969 birth cohorts
Volume 48 - Article 15
The changing pattern of cohabitation: A sequence analysis approach
Volume 40 - Article 42
Cohort fertility decline in low fertility countries: Decomposition using parity progression ratios
Volume 38 - Article 25
Educational differences in timing and quantum of childbearing in Britain: A study of cohorts born 1940−1969
Volume 33 - Article 26
Ageing dynamics of a human-capital-specific population: A demographic perspective
Volume 31 - Article 44
Neither single, nor in a couple. A study of living apart together in France
Volume 21 - Article 4
Intergenerational family ties and the diffusion of cohabitation in Italy
Volume 16 - Article 14
On the tempo and quantum of first marriages in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland: Changes in mean age and variance
Volume 10 - Article 9
Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research
Parental leave policies and continued childbearing in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
Volume 40 - Article 51 | Keywords: fertility, Norway, Sweden
Tempo-quantum and period-cohort interplay in fertility changes in Europe: Evidence from the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden
Volume 8 - Article 6 | Keywords: fertility, Italy, Sweden
Fertility developments in Norway and Sweden since the early 1960s
Volume 6 - Article 4 | Keywords: fertility, Norway, Sweden
Childbearing Developments in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden from the 1970s to the 1990s: A Comparison
Special Collection 3 - Article 7 | Keywords: fertility, Norway, Sweden
Union formation and fertility amongst immigrants from Pakistan and their descendants in the United Kingdom: A multichannel sequence analysis
Volume 48 - Article 10 | Keywords: fertility, United Kingdom
Cited References: 129
»View the references of this article
Download to Citation Manager
»Articles by Maria Winkler-Dworak
»Articles by Maria Winkler-Dworak