In the process of fertility decline, the role and participation of men have hardly been considered in the demographic literature. It has grown only as fertility was dropping dramatically in most Western countries, but very little has been done to analyze such an issue in historical populations. Based on individual-level data, the present paper aims at investigating, by means of hazard models, the role of males in the reproductive pattern of the pre-transitional population of Alghero, Sardinia (1866–1935). The results show a slower decrease of male fertility (-23% at 40–49 years; around -50% at 50+) compared to female fertility (about -40% already at 35–49 years), with significant differentials by socioeconomic status (SES). Wealthier men present, in fact, lower fertility than poorest ones, with a gap that, however, reduces with age and even reverses at 50+ years. The reason for such a change is likely to be partly associated with the better health conditions of the wealthy group, developed especially in adulthood, given the absence of a significant relationship between height and fertility SES differentials.
Male fertility between biology and the socioeconomic context: news from the past (Alghero, 1866–1935) / Breschi, M.; Fornasin, A.; Gonano, G.; Mazzoni, S.; Manfredini, M.. - In: ECONOMICS AND HUMAN BIOLOGY. - ISSN 1570-677X. - 37(2020), pp. 1-9. [10.1016/j.ehb.2019.100833]