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Education and Fertility: Implications for the Roles Women Occupy

Ronald R. Rindfuss, Larry Bumpass and Craig St. John
American Sociological Review
Vol. 45, No. 3 (Jun., 1980), pp. 431-447
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095176
Page Count: 17
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Education and Fertility: Implications for the Roles Women Occupy
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Abstract

The interplay between education and fertility has a significant influence on the roles women occupy, when in their life cycle they occupy these roles, and the length of time spent in these roles. The overall inverse relationship between education and fertility is well known; but little is known about the theoretical and empirical basis of this relationship. This paper explores the theoretical linkages between education and fertility and then examines the relationships between the two at three stages in the life cycle. It is found that the reciprocal relationship between education and age at first birth is dominated by the effect from education to age at first birth with only a trivial effect in the other direction. Once the process of childbearing has begun, education has essentially no direct effect on fertility; but it has a large indirect effect through age at first birth.

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