Educational Differences in Early Childbearing: A Cross-National Comparative Study
James Raymo, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Marcia J. Carlson, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Brienna Perelli-Harris, University of Southampton
So-jung Lim, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Miho Iwasawa, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan
This cross-national comparative study seeks to evaluate the generality of socioeconomic differences in early childbearing observed in the U.S. and to shed light on the ways in which differences in early childbearing are shaped by context. In the preliminary analyses presented here, we estimate educational differences in the risk of having a child before age 23 and the extent to which those differences have changed across cohorts in 7 countries: France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, and the U.S. We find that a negative educational gradient in early childbearing is common across countries, whereas increasing concentration of early childbearing among women with less education is observed in some countries, but not others. In subsequent extensions, we will use alternative measures of early childbearing, consider alternative indicators of women’s socioeconomic status, increase the number of countries, pool data across countries, and include direct measures of context to estimate multi-level models.