, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 1407–1432 | Cite as

Fertility Transitions and Schooling: From Micro- to Macro-Level Associations



Research on the schooling implications of fertility transitions often faces an aggregation problem: despite policy interest in macro-level outcomes, empirical studies usually focus on the micro-level effects of sibsize on schooling. This article proposes an aggregation framework for moving from micro- to macro-level associations between fertility and schooling. The proposed framework is an improvement over previous aggregation methods in that it considers concurrent changes in the effects of sibsize, socioeconomic context, and family structure. The framework is illustrated with data from six sub-Saharan countries. Possible extensions are discussed.


Fertility transitions Demographic dividend Decomposition methods Aggregation methods Africa 



The authors thank MACRO/DHS for making the data available. This research was supported by Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center, the Polson Institute for Global Development, and the Hewlett Foundation. Previous versions of this article were presented at the 2007 and 2011 meetings of the Population Association of America (in New York and Washington, DC, respectively). Thanks to the anonymous reviewers and the editors of Demography for greatly improving the paper’s content and presentation. We also received useful comments from Lindy Williams, Shannon Stokes, Julie DaVanzo, Cheikh Mbacké, Florencia Torche, Lisa Dundon, and Mary Eloundou. Remaining errors are ours.

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parfait M. Eloundou-Enyegue
    • 1
  • Sarah C. Giroux
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Development SociologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Development SociologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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