Opting For Families: Recent Trends in the Fertility of Highly Educated Women
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.
We are grateful for extensive discussions with Larry Katz and Claudia Goldin. We naturally take responsibility for all errors. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Qingyan Shang & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2013. "Opting for families: recent trends in the fertility of highly educated women," Journal of Population Economics, vol 26(1), pages 5-32.