Institutional Family Demography (IFAMID)
IFAMID, lead by Università Bocconi PI Arnstein Aassve, presents a new framework for the analysis of family demography. The empirical side of the project focuses on explaining 1) fertility trends and differentials in OECD countries, 2) the transition to adulthood, and 3) the global perspective of fertility change. It received ERC funding in 2016.
An important aspect of this approach is that policies contained within existing welfare constellations, often taken as explanatory factors for family outcomes, are necessarily endogenous, and its evolution depends on the underlying quality of relevant institutions and cultural traits, which may react very differently with respect to the onset of global trends, and therefore give different patterns of family formation.
With this project, a series of hypotheses will be developed and empirically tested. The World Values Surveys will serve as an important data source, but the unit of analysis will be in large part at the regional level since it is impossible to account fully for the complex interaction of culture and institutions from a cross-country perspective only. This implies collecting a chronology of regional variables on cultural traits, institutions, and demographic outcomes.
Working closely with Gosta Esping-Andesen and with a team of historical demographers led by Guido Alfani (Bocconi), and drawing heavily on the statistical modelling skills of the PI, the aim is to devise a set of state-of-the-art techniques including instrumental variables, spatial econometrics, and epidemiological approaches that deal with the endogeneity of culture and institutions.
Recent press coverage can be read and viewed below.