How big are educational and racial fertility differentials in the U.S.?
Using pooled data from the 1980, 1985, 1990 and 1995 CPS and 1988 and 1995 NSFG surveys, we show that shifts in fertility timing have occurred disproportionately for the more educated and for whites (compared to the less educated and to African Americans). Such timing shifts imply that the underlying period quantum of fertility is considerably higher for college-educated women and for whites than suggested by the standard total fertility rate. Applying the Bongaarts-Feeney model (1998), we decompose observed racial and educational differences in age-order-specific fertility rates and TFR into tempo and quantum components. We find that a modest part of educational differences and a substantial part of racial difference in period fertility can be attributed to differential changes in tempo. Analysis by race and education shows a clear interaction: higher fertility among African Americans is confined to the less educated.
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