Volume 8 - Article 6 | Pages 151–214

Tempo-quantum and period-cohort interplay in fertility changes in Europe: Evidence from the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden

By Tomáš Sobotka

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Date received:20 Dec 2002
Date published:04 Apr 2003
Word count:13271
Keywords:cohort analysis, Czech Republic, fertility, fertility timing, Italy, Netherlands, period fertility, Sweden
Updated Items:Erratum: there is an error in equation 10 on p. 165. The correct version of equation 10 can be found on page 196 after the "Acknowledgements" section. (Correction made on April 13, 2004)


Using detailed data on period and cohort fertility in four European countries, this paper discusses various indicators of period fertility, including indicators adjusted for changes in fertility timing. Empirical analysis focuses on the comparison of cohort fertility and corresponding indicators of period fertility; particular attention is paid to the periods of intensive postponement of childbearing. Some period indicators come consistently closer to the completed cohort fertility than the total fertility rates. This pattern of differential period-cohort approximation widely varies by birth order.
Quite high level of approximation is provided by the tempo-adjusted birth probabilities of parity 1 and a combined indicator of total fertility. Two examples illustrate the use of indicators discussed in the paper: the first provides an estimation of the tempo (timing) and quantum (level) components in fertility change in the Czech Republic and the second presents projections of cohort fertility in the Czech Republic and Italy.

Author's Affiliation

Tomáš Sobotka - Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Austria [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Cohort fertility decline in low fertility countries: Decomposition using parity progression ratios
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» Ultra-low fertility in South Korea: The role of the tempo effect
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» Czech Republic: A rapid transformation of fertility and family behaviour after the collapse of state socialism
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» Austria: Persistent low fertility since the mid-1980s
Volume 19 - Article 12

» Overview Chapter 7: The rising importance of migrants for childbearing in Europe
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» Overview Chapter 6: The diverse faces of the Second Demographic Transition in Europe
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» Overview Chapter 4: Changing family and partnership behaviour: Common trends and persistent diversity across Europe
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» Overview Chapter 1: Fertility in Europe: Diverse, delayed and below replacement
Volume 19 - Article 3

» Summary and general conclusions: Childbearing Trends and Policies in Europe
Volume 19 - Article 2

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