Volume 36 - Article 17 | Pages 525–556

The quality of periodic fertility measures in EU-SILC

By Angela Greulich, Aurélien Dasré

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Date received:17 Oct 2016
Date published:09 Feb 2017
Word count:13921
Keywords:bias, fertility, measurement
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2017.36.17
Additional files:36-17_appendix (Excel file, 14 kB)
 

Abstract

Background: The European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) are increasingly used in demographic analysis, due to their large country coverage, the availability of harmonized socioeconomic measures, and the possibility to merge partners. However, so far there exists no comprehensive analysis of the representativeness of the fertility behavior reported by EU-SILC.

Objective: This paper quantifies the quality of periodic fertility measures in EU-SILC.

Methods: We compare periodic fertility measures obtained with EU-SILC to unbiased measures from the Human Fertility Database (HFD) for several European countries, by applying a cross-sectional perspective.

Results: We show that EU-SILC measures of periodic fertility are biased downward, mainly due to attrition, while births of order one for ages 20‒29 are particularly underreported. However, we find no evidence of socioeconomic differentials in attrition.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that for the majority of European countries, EU-SILC can be used for the analysis of childbearing behavior when respecting the measures of precaution mentioned in this article.

Contribution: These precautions contain, for example, applying a retrospective approach and differentiating by rotation groups when calculating aggregate measures of periodic fertility.

Author's Affiliation

Angela Greulich - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France [Email]
Aurélien Dasré - Université Paris Nanterre, France [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Education, labour, and the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe
Volume 36 - Article 23

» Multiple imputation for demographic hazard models with left-censored predictor variables: Application to employment duration and fertility in the EU-SILC
Volume 35 - Article 38

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