One of the most important demographic issues of our time is the
increasing age of women at motherhood. This happens in the northern
social democratic states Sweden and Norway, in the catholic
countries Italy, Spain and Ireland, in the West European countries
Netherlands and Germany, in the former socialist transition
countries Czech Republic and East Germany, and in the liberal
democracy of the United States. The postponement of maternity and
the related issue of declining fertility rates are of major
interest to policy makers and have provoked much scientific
This book examines various economic aspects of the role of women
s education in the postponement of maternity in these ten
industrialized countries. The chapters in this book each
empirically investigate one of these countries using individual or
household survey data and are in particular interested in the
increasing age at motherhood with the investment in education of
the mother. In search of socio-economic explanations for this
relationship each chapter investigates a specific related research
question. This results in a book that covers a wide range of topics
on the economics of fertility decisions, such as career planning
motives of women, consumption smoothing motives of households and
the role of institutions."
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