Subjective Well-Being, Fertility and Partnerships: A Biodemographic Perspective

Hans-Peter Kohler, University of Pennsylvania
Joseph Lee Rodgers, University of Oklahoma
Axel Skytthe, University of Southern Denmark

We propose comparative behavior genetic analyzes of subjective well-being, fertility and partnerships from a biodemographic perspective using the 2002 Danish twin omnibus survey and the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY). Our preliminary analyzes of the Danish data suggest a systematic positive association between the genetic components of variation in subjective well-being and of variation in fertility/partnership behaviors. For males, for instance, genetic dispositions that tend to increase subjective well-being are associated with a higher number of partnerships, a higher probability of being currently in a partnership, and a larger number of children. The analyzes of the NLSY will augment these analyzes in two dimensions: first, the analyzes reveal whether the results vary across socioeconomic contexts (the U.S. versus Denmark), and second, the longitudinal data in the NLSY allow analyzes of changes in happiness, fertility and partnerships over time, which is impossible in the cross-sectional twin data.

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Presented in Session 107: Biodemography and Population Genetics