We provide new evidence on the education-fertility relationship by using EU-SILC panel data on 24 European countries to investigate how couples’ educational pairings predict their childbearing behavior. We focus on differences in first-, second-, and third-birth rates among couples with varying combinations of partners’ education. Our results show important differences in how education relates to parity progressions depending on the education of the partner. First, highly educated homogamous couples show a distinct childbearing behavior in most country clusters. They tend to postpone the first birth most and display the highest second- and third-birth rates. Second, contrary to what may be expected based on the “new home economics” approach, hypergamous couples with a highly educated male and a lower-educated female partner display among the lowest second-birth transitions. Our findings underscore the relevance of interacting both partners’ education for a better understanding of the education-fertility relationship.

You do not currently have access to this content.