Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

The generation game is the cooperation game: The role of grandparents in the timing of reproduction

Rebecca Seara1 and Thomas E. Dickinsa2

a1 Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom. r.sear@lse.ac.uk http://personal.lse.ac.uk/SEAR/

a2 School of Psychology, University of East London, London E15 4LZ, United Kingdom. dickins@uel.ac.uk http://www.uel.ac.uk/psychology/staff/tomdickins.htm

Abstract

Coall & Hertwig (C&H) demonstrate the importance of grandparents to children, even in low fertility societies. We suggest policy-makers interested in reproductive timing in such contexts should be alerted to the practical applications of this cooperative breeding framework. The presence or absence of a supportive kin network could help explain why some women begin their reproductive careers “too early” or “too late.”

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