Educational composition and parity contribution to completed cohort fertility change in low-fertility settings

Ester Lazzari, Ryohei Mogi, Vladimir Canudas-Romo

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Extensive literature has documented the contribution of rising women’s education to decreases in completed cohort fertility (CCF). A key question related to the education–fertility relationship is to what extent the decrease in fertility is the result of changes in educational composition vs changes in fertility behaviours within educational categories. This study quantified the effect of educational expansion on fertility levels by decomposing the overall change in CCF into educational composition and education-specific fertility, and explored the changes in parity-specific components of CCF by education for cohorts born between 1940 and 1970. The results show that, despite the decline in CCF being caused mostly by changes in fertility behaviours, educational composition had a considerable impact for some cohorts. The decline in third and higher-order births played a central role in the fall in CCF across educational groups, while the effects of transitions to first and second births varied substantially.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)153-167
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • cohort fertility
  • decomposition
  • educational attainment
  • parity
  • Humans
  • Educational Status
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Pregnancy
  • Fertility
  • Female
  • Birth Rate
  • Parity
  • Research Design
  • Cohort Studies
  • Population Dynamics


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