Sibling Similarity in Family Formation


Sibling studies have been applied to estimate the effect of family background - everything siblings share - on socioeconomic and demographic outcomes. Recent research on family formation emphasizes that fertility and partnership transitions are embedded in a holistic process of family formation that unfolds over time. The main analytical purpose of this study is to combine the sibling approach with sequence analysis to disentangle the mechanisms that link family background to family formation trajectories. We use Finnish register data from 1987 until 2007 to construct family formation sequences for sibling and non-sibling dyads from age 18 to 30. The empirical analysis employs sequence analysis, sibling correlations, and regression analysis. Preliminary findings show that family formation of siblings is indeed more similar than family formation of non-siblings. Currently the project focuses on the identification of different mechanisms that may generate sibling similarity in family formation. These include the intergenerational transmission of status and values from parents to children as well as siblings mutual influence on each others family formation.