Parental age difference, educationally assortative mating and offspring count: evidence from a contemporary population in Taiwan

Parental age difference, educationally assortative mating and offspring count: evidence from a contemporary population in Taiwan
Posted on February 8, 2011
Authors: Tsou MW, Liu JT, Hammitt JK
Biology Letters 2011  PubmedID: 21288936   DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1208

Using contemporary population data from Taiwan, we examine the relationships between parental age difference, educationally assortative mating, income and offspring count. Controlling for women's reproductive value (measured by age at first birth), we find that an older husband is associated with fewer offspring, whereas a husband with similar or higher education is associated with more offspring. Concerning resources, we find that women's income is negatively associated with fertility and husband's income is positively associated with fertility among highly educated women. These results are consistent with the view that women compensate for trade-offs between education, income generation and childbearing by seeking mates with a higher status.