The diffusion of cohabitation during the last decades is one of the most striking aspects of wider social changes that have taken place throughout the industrialized world. Over time, the meaning of cohabitation has changed from being a deviant behavior to an almost fully accepted one. However, cohabitation has not spread uniformly across countries and the speed of change in the meaning of cohabitation can be very different. Is cohabitation becoming an alternative to marriage, as predicted by the Second Demographic Transition (SDT), or are there some persistent differences between countries?
Worldwide, as income per capita rises, the share of the population working in agriculture diminishes. At present, there is little research investigating the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon. In a new paper, I examine the role of human capital investments in the transition off the farm, using household panel data that is nationally representative of rural Mexico. Does improved access to schools reduce the probability that individuals do farm work?
EBENEZER SCROOGE, from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” famously suggests that the poor could “decrease the surplus population” by dying rather than entering the workhouse. Since then, the dynamics of the world economy changed and industrialized countries’ fertility dropped by more than half between the mid-nineteenth and the early twentieth century.
Humanity is approaching an historic transformation. Towards the end of the 21st century the world’s population will very possibly begin to decline in number, and East Asia is in the vanguard (Figure 1). This is being achieved in nearly all countries not via coercion, but voluntarily, as female emancipation and education, urbanisation, and economic development spread across the world, lifestyles and life choices change, and medical knowledge and technologies advance.