NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Opting For Families: Recent Trends in the Fertility of Highly Educated Women

Qingyan Shang, Bruce A. Weinberg

NBER Working Paper No. 15074
Issued in June 2009
NBER Program(s):   CH   LS

Observers have argued about whether highly-educated women are opting out of their careers and for families. If so, it is natural to expect fertility to increase and, insofar as children are associated with lower employment, further declines in employment. This paper provides a comprehensive study of recent trends in the fertility of college-graduate women. We study fertility at a range of ages; consider both the intensive and extensive margins, explore a range of data sets; and study the period from 1940 to 2006. In contrast to most existing work, we find that college graduate women are indeed opting for families. Fertility increases at almost all ages along both the intensive and extensive margins since the late 1990s or 2000 and this recent increase in fertility is consistent across datasets.

download in pdf format
   (108 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (108 K) or via email.

A data appendix is available at http://www.nber.org/data-appendix/w15074

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15074

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Isen and Stevenson w15725 Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility
Herr and Wolfram w14717 Work Environment and “Opt-Out" Rates at Motherhood Across High-Education Career Paths
Preston and Hartnett w14498 The Future of American Fertility
Goldin w11953 The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family
Fang, Eggleston, Rizzo, and Zeckhauser w15886 Jobs and Kids: Female Employment and Fertility in Rural China
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us