Whose education is more influential on fertility behaviour: mother’s or father’s?

Banu Akadlı Ergöçmen, Hacettepe University
Mehmet Ali Eryurt, Hacettepe University

Starting from the mid-twentieth century noteworthy changes in fertility behavior has been observed in Turkey. Total period fertility declined from the level of 6 or 7 children per woman to the replacement level by 2003. The increase in the overall educational level of the society was one of the most important factors affecting this fertility decline. The proportion of literate women increased from 10 percent to 81 percent between the years 1935 and 2000. The results of 2003 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS-2003) revealed the TFR of uneducated women as 3.7 and that of women who has high school and higher education as 1.4. The TDHS-2003 results once again confirmed the inverse relationship of women’s education and fertility. This study will go beyond this already well known relationship through examining new questions for Turkey. The three main questions of the study are: Whose education is more influential on fertility behaviour? Mothers or Fathers? What is the effectiveness of grandparents’ education on fertility? Does the impact of education differ by birth order? Data source of the study is TDHS-2003. The above mentioned questions is analyzed through piecewise constant proportional hazard regression model. A series of multivariate models were constructed to measure the impact of mother’s, father’s, and grandparent’s education and other covariates on the timing of first, second, third and fourth births. The findings show that father’s education is more influential on transition to first birth, on the other hand mother’s education is more influential on the timing of second, third and fourth birth. The intensity of the second and subsequent births differentiated according to the education of the women’s parent’s education. Women whose parents are uneducated have higher risk of birth at all parities.

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Presented in Session 99: Education and fertility

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