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Reference: Pison, G, Monden, C and Smits, J, (2015). Twinning Rates in Developed Countries: Trends and Explanations. Population and Development Review, 41 (4), 629-+.Citable link to this page:


Twinning Rates in Developed Countries: Trends and Explanations

Abstract: The twinning rate has increased dramatically over the last four decades in developed countries. Two main factors account for this increase: delayed childbearing, as older women tend to have twins more frequently than younger ones, and the expansion of medically assisted reproduction (MAR), which carries an increased probability of multiple births. Using civil registration data, we estimate the share of the increase in twinning rates attributable to the rise in the age at childbearing and to MAR. The effect of MAR is estimated to be about three times as important as the effect of delayed childbearing. Negative health outcomes associated with multiple births and the cost of MAR have raised concerns. We find that in one-quarter of developed countries with the relevant data, the twinning rate reached a plateau around the early 2000s and decreased thereafter. We examine the reasons for this reversal, in particular changes in MAR policies and practices.

Peer Review status:Peer reviewedPublication status:PublishedVersion:Publisher's versionNotes:© 2015 The Authors. Population and Development Review published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Population Council. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. This is the publisher's version of the article. The final version is available online from Wiley at: [10.1111/j.1728-4457.2015.00088.x]

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Wiley

Publisher Website:

Journal: Population and Development Reviewsee more from them

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Issue Date: 2015-12-15


Urn: uuid:437ce3f2-78c8-43e1-b7cc-47ae837ffc6f

Source identifier: 581517


Issn: 0098-7921 Item Description

Type: Journal article;

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: Twinning rate multiple births historical trends fertility maternal age delay in child bearing assisted reproductive technology (ART) Tiny URL: pubs:581517


Author: Pison, G - - - Monden, C - institutionUniversity of Oxford Oxford, SSD, Sociology - - - Smits, J - - - - Bibliographic Details Pu



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