The relationship between reproductive life span and longevity: the case of historical Germany

Telesforo Ramirez-Garcia, El Colegio de México
Elisabeta Minca, Brown University
Francesco Scalone, Statistical Office - Province of Bologna

This paper examines the relationship between the length of childbearing span and longevity, by using a longitudinal women’s sample of German historical village populations, between 1550 and 1950. Our methods include Nelson-Aalen estimates, as well as multivariate hazards models predicting longevity after the age of 55, based on “childbearing span”, and controlling for the number of children ever born, the total number of dead children, age at first birth, marital status, SES, religion, place of residence and period. We hypothesize that a long childbearing span “depletes” women’s bodies and leads to shorter post-reproductive life or increased hazard of dying. In addition, we hypothesize that the effect of childbearing span on the risk of dying would be much stronger in the period before women started to control their fertility than in the later period, due to the possible beneficial effects of the social security and improved nutrition and life conditions for the later cohorts of women

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 3