Will the Bologna Declaration Bring Babies? The Effects of a University Reform on Fertility and Educational Attainment Patterns

Marija Mamolo, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Vegard Skirbekk, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

The Bologna Declaration was signed in 1999 by most European nations. It will have the effect of streamlining and in many cases shortening tertiary education across the continent. In our study we are concerned about some demographic consequences from the reform. In particular, we explore the effects of the Bologna Declaration on Italian population structure and dynamics. On the one hand, the reform increases tertiary educational enrollment, which decreases fertility levels. However, as it compresses educational duration, it also implies lower graduation ages, which raises childbearing levels. The net effect of this university reform on fertility is studied by decomposing changes in fertility (i.e. the Total Fertility Rate) into two components: one due to changes in age education specific fertility rates, and one due to compositional changes in educational attainment.

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Presented in Session 54: Education and Fertility