The Gender Revolution and Educational Pairing-Specific Fertility: An Application of the Two-Sex Fertility Model to the Census Data across High Income Nations

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The reversal in the educational gradients in fertility sits as the central focus of the gender revolution theories in fertility research. As women with tertiary education gained a sizable majority in many high-income nations, the fertility of highly educated women increasingly represents the levels of overall fertility. Little is known, however, how the concurrent changes in the compositions of men and women with tertiary education influenced the fertility rates of highly educated women. The marriage/mating squeeze theory predicts that a relative increase in female tertiary education to that of males causes the mating squeeze against females. The implication of the mating squeeze in fertility is “birth squeeze,” which is a potential loss of births due to the mating squeeze. In contrast, the change in mating patterns or the increase in the fertility of given education pairs with tertiary-educated women could be a possible source for fertility recuperation. My paper examines the fertility trends of women with tertiary education by applying Schoen’s two-sex fertility model to educational pair-specific fertility rates. The model allows me to calculate the birth squeeze index and the two-sex TFR for each education pair. The former measures the degree of the birth squeeze in a given pair, and the latter provides the pair-specific TFR that is free from the influence of the age and education compositions of “both sexes.” By applying the own-children method to the micro census data from the IPUMS international harmonized data and Japanese census, I obtained the period education pair-specific TFR across different time points in four high-income nations. My analysis examines how the (conventional) female educational pair-specific TFRs are affected by the degrees of the birth squeeze, how these relationships differ across countries and periods, and how the fertility trends of tertiary-educated women differ by the two-sex TFR and the conventional TFR.

Setsuya Fukuda is a social demographer and Senior Researcher working at Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research where he conducts demographic research on the inter-relationships between gender, family formation, and family policy. Setsuya is currently a visiting scholar at the ANU School of Demography.

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Date & time

Tue 23 Aug 2022, 1:00pm to 2:00pm


Room 4.69, RSSS Building, ANU, 146 Ellery Crescent, Acton and by Zoom


Setsuya Fukuda


James O'Donnell


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