I wonder if there is any historical research on patterns of religious/married vocations in history. There is a lot of talk at present about increasing numbers of vocations in Western Europe, and I wonder if the pattern looks something like this:
Crisis in reproduction, e.g. a war, epidemic, or more recently contraception/abortion
-> Many faithful Catholics see obligation to start families, e.g the post-war baby boom
-> Fewer celibate vocations
-> Too many people in the next generation and too few jobs
-> More people go into celibate vocations
Next population crisis, I.e. causes a war or a change in reproductive habits,
-> go back to step one.
It certainly seems that the last 100 years have seen 3 baby booms, all of them during economic crises, as well as 3 events that killed millions (2 world wars and the legalization of abortion) all of them about 18 years after a baby boom, and 3 surges in vocations, all of them hot on the heels of a baby boom.
I wonder if it happened this way throughout history?