Volume 17 - Article 9 | Pages 211–246
Effects of current education on second- and third-birth rates among Norwegian women and men born in 1964: Substantive interpretations and methodological issues
19 Jun 2007
13 Nov 2007
A variety of approaches have been employed to assess the importance of women’s education for their second- or third-birth rates. Some researchers have included the educational level measured at a relatively high age in their models, whereas others have included current education. A few have taken selection into account by modelling first-, second-, and higher-order birth rates jointly, with a common unobserved factor. The corresponding education-fertility relationships among men, however, has not attracted any attention.
In this study, based on Norwegian register data for the 1964 cohort, a high current educational level for a woman is found to stimulate her second- and third-birth rates. Controlling for selection through joint modelling turns out to be quite unimportant, but the results are very different if the educational level attained by age 39 is included instead of current education. It is important to be aware of such sensitivity to the specification of education. The corresponding effects for men are also positive, but not more strongly positive than those for women.
These results may suggest that we should not take for granted that women’s education generally reduces fertility, and that it does so because of higher opportunity costs for the better educated. However, it is also possible that a high current educational level is linked with modest aspirations for further schooling, which would tend to stimulate subsequent fertility, that it is partly caused by some individual, family or community characteristics that also lead to high fertility, or that it even to some extent is a result of plans to have a child fairly soon. These alternative interpretations are discussed.
- 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
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
An Illustration of the Problems Caused by Incomplete Education Histories in Fertility Analyses
Special Collection 3 - Article 6
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