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Opting for families: recent trends in the fertility of highly educated women

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  • Qingyan Shang
  • Bruce Weinberg

    ()

Abstract

After declining for many years, there are indications that fertility may be increasing among highly educated women. This paper provides a comprehensive study of recent trends in the fertility of college-graduate women. In contrast to most existing work, we find that college graduate women are indeed opting for families. Data from the Current Population Surveys and Vital Statistics Birth Data both show that fertility increases among college graduate women, especially at older ages since the mid- to late 1990s. There are also increases in fertility among less-educated women, but these are concentrated at younger ages. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Qingyan Shang & Bruce Weinberg, 2013. "Opting for families: recent trends in the fertility of highly educated women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 5-32, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:1:p:5-32
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0411-2
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-012-0411-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martha J. Bailey, 2010. ""Momma's Got the Pill": How Anthony Comstock and Griswold v. Connecticut Shaped US Childbearing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 98-129, March.
    2. Jane Leber Herr & Catherine Wolfram, 2009. "Work Environment and "Opt-Out" Rates at Motherhood Across High-Education Career Paths," NBER Working Papers 14717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Qingyan Shang & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2009. "Opting For Families: Recent Trends in the Fertility of Highly Educated Women," NBER Working Papers 15074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Patricia Cortés & José Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
    5. Helmut Rainer & Geethanjali Selvaretnam & David Ulph, 2011. "Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in a model of fertility choice," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 1101-1132, July.
    6. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    7. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote & Ariel Dora Stern, 2008. "Will the Stork Return to Europe and Japan? Understanding Fertility within Developed Nations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    8. David H. Autor & David Dorn, 2013. "The Growth of Low-Skill Service Jobs and the Polarization of the US Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1553-1597, August.
    9. Heather Boushey, 2005. "Are Women Opting Out? Debunking the Myth," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2005-36, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    10. Francesca Mazzolari & Giuseppe Ragusa, 2013. "Spillovers from High-Skill Consumption to Low-Skill Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 74-86, March.
    11. Antecol, Heather, 2010. "The Opt-Out Revolution: A Descriptive Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 5089, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Delia Furtado & Heinrich Hock, 2010. "Low Skilled Immigration and Work-Fertility Tradeoffs among High Skilled US Natives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 224-228, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pau Baizan & Bruno Arpino & Carlos Eric Delclòs, 2016. "The Effect of Gender Policies on Fertility: The Moderating Role of Education and Normative Context," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(1), pages 1-30, February.
    2. Delia Furtado, 2015. "Can immigrants help women “have it all”? Immigrant labor and women’s joint fertility and labor supply decisions," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    3. Joni Hersch, 2013. "Opting out among women with elite education," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 469-506, December.
    4. Heather Antecol, 2015. "Career and Family Choices Among Elite Liberal Arts Graduates," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(4), pages 1089-1120, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Opting out; Fertility; High-skilled women; J13; J16;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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