|Title||Cultural evolution of low fertility at high socio-economic status|
|Presenter||Sara Li-Yen Loo (The University of Sydney)|
|Author(s)||Sara Li-Yen Loo|
The cultural evolution of fertility from high to low, in response to improvements in socio-economic status, has been of increasing interest to evolutionary biologists. It seems intuitive to assume that greater wealth enables a large amount of wealth to be endowed to offspring, which would imply high fertility at high socio-economic status. In many developed countries, however, the converse is true, with negative correlations being observed between socio-economic status and fertility. Investigations into the mechanisms underlying this cultural evolution need to consider not only trade-offs between the quantity and quality of offspring, but also the effects of status-seeking and social learning on the fertility decisions of parents. A cultural-evolution model for understanding the conditions under which low fertility emerges at high socio-economic status is developed and analysed considering, in particular, the effect of choosing role models probabilistically across the whole range of socio-economic status with a gradual preference for imitating parents with high socio-economic status.
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