, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 903–931

Meet the Parents? Family Size and the Geographic Proximity Between Adult Children and Older Mothers in Sweden



The aim of this study is to estimate the causal effect of family size on the proximity between older mothers and adult children by using a large administrative data set from Sweden. Our main results show that adult children in Sweden are not constrained by sibship size in choosing where to live: for families with more than one child, sibship size does not affect child-mother proximity. For aging parents, however, having fewer children reduces the probability of having at least one child living nearby, which is likely to have consequences for the intensity of intergenerational contact and eldercare.


Sibship size Geographic proximity Intergenerational links Instrumental variable 

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Holmlund
    • 1
    • 2
  • Helmut Rainer
    • 3
    • 4
  • Thomas Siedler
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Swedish Institute for Social ResearchStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Centre for Economic PerformanceLSELondonUK
  3. 3.Ifo Institute–Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of MunichMunichGermany
  4. 4.CESifoMunichGermany
  5. 5.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  6. 6.DIW BerlinBerlinGermany
  7. 7.University of EssexEssexUK

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