1932

Abstract

Formal models of life-history evolution have been used to illuminate both the peculiarities of the human life cycle and its commonalities with those of other taxa. Understanding reproductive decisions in both the contemporary market-based economies of wealthy nation-states and rapidly changing populations largely of the Global South presents particular challenges to evolutionary life-history theory for several reasons. These include () the rapidity with which reproductive patterns change, () the magnitude of fertility reduction from previous equilibria, and () the frequent absence or even reversal of expected wealth-fertility gradients. These empirical challenges have been met to an increasing extent by specifically incorporating durable wealth and resource transfers into more traditional life-history models. Such relatively new models build on classical life-history theory to generate novel predictions. Among these are quite robust predictions that the existence of heritable wealth will decrease optimal fertility and that, once the system of resource transfers is established, fertility and resource transfers will coevolve.

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2015-10-21
2024-04-20
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