How soon is now? Age at arrival and the fertility and marriage patterns among the children of immigrants in Norway

Fernando Riosmena, University of Colorado at Boulder
Torkild Hovde Lyngstad, University of Oslo

Using high-quality administrative register data from Norway, we study the effect of exposure to the host country on marriage and fertility timing. Our novel approach is to use information on siblings that arrived at different ages in the host country (or were born there) to establish whether there is a causal effect of age at arrival, and thus exposure to the host country and its culture, on family demographic behaviour (i.e. sibling fixed-effects). The demographic behavior of immigrants and descendants have been used as measures of said integration into or exclusion from the host society. Adaption to the majority patterns of fertility and marriage timing are considered indicators of such. Preliminary results indicate that although there is a gradient by age-at-marriage in fertility and marriage timing, this gradient disappears when unobserved family background factors are controlled for. Thus, the higher fertility and marriage rates of immigrant children seems to be due to socialization effects transmitted through the family, and it seems that the mere exposure to the host country is less relevant than argued in theoretical contributions.

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Presented in Session 47: Family formation of migrant groups