Couples’ Education and Fertility across Europe: Theoretical and Methodological ChallengesISER External Seminars

The link between education and fertility has been a long-standing research interest in family demography, since education is considered an important indirect determinant of fertility behaviour. Empirical evidence on the relationship between education and fertility, however, is mostly based on findings concerning women’s life course. This is a major drawback because the majority of births occurs within unions. Fertility research is now increasingly focusing on couples, especially on how both partners’ characteristics and their combination affect parity progression.  

During the seminar, theoretical and methodological challenges to study fertility from a couple perspective will be discussed. The main focus will be on a study which examines the association between educational assortative mating and the transition to second births in Austria.  In this study, we use a dataset derived from Austrian social security records and the birth register covering first births in the period 1990-2007, and parity progression in the follow-up. Applying survival analysis, we analyse the effect of partners’ joint and relative resources on second birth transitions. Next, we apply cure models to analyse differential effects of partners’ resources on the timing and the quantum of second births. Results so far show that a higher level of education within the couple increases second birth rates. This finding also holds when controlling for partners’ income.

Presented by:

Dr Alessandra Trimarchi

Date & time:

17 May 2023 12:30 pm - 17 May 2023 13:30 pm


Zoom. Link available upon request. Email if you're interested in attending.

External seminars home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest