Unskilled Mayors and Graduate Farmers: Comparing the Association of Education and Occupation on Fertility in Six European Countries

Bilal Barakat, Vienna Institute of Demography
Rachel Durham, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU), Vienna University of Economics and Business

Studying the relationship between education and fertility requires disentangling their joint link with social, and specifically occupational, status. We examine educational fertility differentials within occupations and industries for Austria, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, and Switzerland using individual-level census samples from IPUMS. These are sufficiently large to contain sizable numbers of unusual combinations, e.g., university graduates in low-status jobs or primary school dropouts in professional categories. The key contribution is that we are able to perform a cross-country analysis using harmonized education and occupation categories. The analytic model is a Bayesian Poisson regression of the number of children ever born on formal education, occupational status and industry, as well as all their interactions. Results show that education has a strong, direct, consistent impact on fertility, net of occupation/industry. Regarding the cross-country approach, we obtain the interesting result that direct country effects are small and matter mostly through the interaction with other predictors.

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Presented in Poster Session 6