MPIDR Working Paper

Cohort postponement and period measures

Goldstein, J. R., Cassidy, T.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2010-015, 17 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (February 2010)
Open Access


We introduce a new class of models in which demographic behavior such as fertility is postponed by differing amounts depending only on cohort membership. We show how this model fits into a general framework of period and cohort postponement that includes the existing models in the literature, notably those of Bongaarts and Feeney and Kohler and Philipov. The cohort-based model shows the effects of cohort shifts on period fertility measures and provides an accompanying tempo-adjusted measure of period total fertility in the absence of observed shifts. Simulation reveals that when postponement is governed by cohorts, the cohort-based indicator outperforms the Bongaarts and Feeney model that is now in widespread use. The cohort-based model is applied to fertility in several modern populations.
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.