Special Collection 3 - Article 6 | Pages 135–154
An Illustration of the Problems Caused by Incomplete Education Histories in Fertility Analyses
24 Apr 2003
17 Apr 2004
This article is part of the Special Collection 3 "Contemporary Research on European Fertility: Perspectives and Developments"
When assessing the importance of education for fertility, one should ideally use complete education histories. Unfortunately, such data are often not available. It is illustrated here, using register data for Norwegian women born in 1969, that inclusion of educational level at the latest age observed (28), rather than at the current age, can give substantially biased education effect estimates. It is also illustrated that imputation of education for earlier ages may lead to wrong conclusions.
A simple imputation of educational level and enrolment based on the assumption that everyone passes through the educational system with the officially stipulated progress gives particularly misleading results. Somewhat better estimates are obtained when a slower progress more in accordance with reality is assumed, or when educational level and enrolment are imputed stochastically on the basis of distributions calculated from real data. Obviously, one should be very careful when faced with incomplete education histories, and try to make use of relevant information from other sources about the actual educational careers.
- Øystein Kravdal - Universitetet i Oslo, Norway EMAIL
Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research
Are sibling models a suitable tool in analyses of how reproductive factors affect child mortality?
Volume 42 - Article 28
Taking birth year into account when analysing effects of maternal age on child health and other outcomes: The value of a multilevel-multiprocess model compared to a sibling model
Volume 40 - Article 43
The increasing mortality advantage of the married: The role played by education
Volume 38 - Article 20
What has high fertility got to do with the low birth weight problem in Africa?
Volume 28 - Article 25
Further evidence of community education effects on fertility in sub-Saharan Africa
Volume 27 - Article 22
Children's stunting in sub-Saharan Africa: Is there an externality effect of high fertility?
Volume 25 - Article 18
Demographers’ interest in fertility trends and determinants in developed countries: Is it warranted?
Volume 22 - Article 22
Does income inequality really influence individual mortality?: Results from a ‘fixed-effects analysis’ where constant unobserved municipality characteristics are controlled
Volume 18 - Article 7
Effects of current education on second- and third-birth rates among Norwegian women and men born in 1964: Substantive interpretations and methodological issues
Volume 17 - Article 9
Does cancer affect the divorce rate?
Volume 16 - Article 15
A simulation-based assessment of the bias produced when using averages from small DHS clusters as contextual variables in multilevel models
Volume 15 - Article 1
Educational differentials in male mortality in Russia and northern Europe: A comparison of an epidemiological cohort from Moscow and St. Petersburg with the male populations of Helsinki and Oslo
Volume 10 - Article 1
The problematic estimation of "imitation effects" in multilevel models
Volume 9 - Article 2
The impact of individual and aggregate unemployment on fertility in Norway
Volume 6 - Article 10
Is the Previously Reported Increase in Second- and Higher-order Birth Rates in Norway and Sweden from the mid-1970s Real or a Result of Inadequate Estimation Methods?
Volume 6 - Article 9
The High Fertility of College Educated Women in Norway: An Artefact of the Separate Modelling of Each Parity Transition
Volume 5 - Article 6
A search for aggregate-level effects of education on fertility, using data from Zimbabwe
Volume 3 - Article 3
Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research
Advanced or postponed motherhood? Migrants’ and natives’ gap between ideal and actual age at first birth in Spain
Volume 49 - Article 22
actual age at first birth,
age at arrival,
ideal age at first birth,
Describing the Dutch Social Networks and Fertility Study and how to process it
Volume 49 - Article 19
Partial fertility recuperation in Spain two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
Volume 49 - Article 17
The quality of fertility data in the web-based Generations and Gender Survey
Volume 49 - Article 3
Generations and Gender Survey (GGS)
Subnational variations in births and marriages during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
Volume 48 - Article 30