Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 5–32 | Cite as

Opting for families: recent trends in the fertility of highly educated women

  • Qingyan Shang
  • Bruce A. WeinbergEmail author
Original Paper


After declining for many years, there are indications that fertility may be increasing among highly educated women. This paper provides a comprehensive study of recent trends in the fertility of college-graduate women. In contrast to most existing work, we find that college graduate women are indeed opting for families. Data from the Current Population Surveys and Vital Statistics Birth Data both show that fertility increases among college graduate women, especially at older ages since the mid- to late 1990s. There are also increases in fertility among less-educated women, but these are concentrated at younger ages.


Opting out Fertility High-skilled women 

JEL Classification

J13 J16 

Supplementary material

148_2012_411_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (289 kb)
(PDF 289 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  3. 3.IZABonnGermany
  4. 4.NBERCambridgeUSA

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