Volume 5 - Article 2 | Pages 23-64

On the impossibility of inferring cohort fertility measures from period fertility measures

By Evert van Imhoff

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:06 Jul 2001
Date published:24 Sep 2001
Word count:8600
Keywords:cohort fertility, demographic transition, fertility, Italy, Netherlands, period adjustment, tempo and quantum, total fertility rate (TFR)


A particularly important struggle faced by demographic analysts is, how to arrive at statements about family formation processes from a cohort perspective from data that are essentially collected on an annual basis. The present paper is concerned with this struggle, mostly restricted to the case of fertility. The central question investigated here is: given observed period data, what can we conclude about the completed family size of real women?
I review several existing methods to infer cohort fertility from period fertility measures. The conclusion is that, for each method, its justifiability can be verified only empirically: by looking at cohort fertility directly. To illustrate how this can be done, the paper analyses fertility data from a cohort perspective for two countries, Italy and the Netherlands.

Author's Affiliation

Evert van Imhoff - Nederlands Interdisciplinair Demografisch Instituut (NIDI), Netherlands

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Education at home: the age-specific pattern of migration between the Netherlands and the former Dutch East Indies around 1930
Volume 11 - Article 12

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Tempo-quantum and period-cohort interplay in fertility changes in Europe: Evidence from the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden
Volume 8 - Article 6    | Keywords: fertility, Italy, Netherlands

» Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures: Assessing the Implications of Delayed Childbearing for Cohort Fertility in Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain
Volume 6 - Article 7    | Keywords: cohort fertility, fertility, Netherlands

» Fertility change in the American Indian and Alaska Native population, 1980–2010
Volume 37 - Article 1    | Keywords: fertility, total fertility rate (TFR)

» Estimating male fertility in eastern and western Germany since 1991: A new lowest low?
Volume 35 - Article 53    | Keywords: fertility, total fertility rate (TFR)

» Postponement and recuperation in cohort marriage: The experience of South Korea
Volume 35 - Article 35    | Keywords: demographic transition, fertility


»Volume 5




Similar Articles



Jump to Article

Volume Page
Volume Article ID