Postponement and Recuperation of Fertility in Italy: The Role of Education

Elena C. Meroni, UniversitĂ  di Padova

Using data from the Italian Multiscopo we investigate the effect of higher education on fertility timing in Italy. While it is widely demonstrated that women with higher education tend to postpone the birth of the first child, it is still unclear whether they then recuperate on second and higher order births. Using a simultaneous equation approach, we jointly estimate an ordered probit for reached level of education and hazard functions for first, second and higher order births, controlling for women’s unobserved characteristics. Final results show a negative effect of higher education on all birth orders. We then developed a framework for a simulation in order to perform sensitivity analysis of the parameter estimates. This simulation analysis allows us to change the characteristics of the original sample and therefore to assess whether these changes lead to further postponement and recuperation and how they affect the overall fertility.

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Presented in Session 117: Timing of Childbearing and Fertility Transitions: Establishing Cause and Effect