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Being Educated or in Education: the Impact of Education on the Timing of Entry into Parenthood Dieter H. Demey Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Being Educated or in Education: the Impact of Education on the Timing of Entry into Parenthood Dieter H. Demey Faculty of Social and Political Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Being Educated or in Education: the Impact of Education on the Timing of Entry into Parenthood Dieter H. Demey Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Queens College University of Cambridge United Kingdom

2 2 Structure of the presentation 1. Demographic background (1945-present) 2. Theoretical framework and previous empirical research 4. Data and methodology 5. Results 6. Conclusions 3. Hypotheses

3 3 1. Demographic background (1945-present) (1) 1. Postponement of the transition to parenthood 2. Increase in the degree of childlessness Link between the postponement of first births and increasing childlessness: are postponed first births fully recuperated? degree of recuperation of first births?: births postponed are births foregone Trends:

4 4 1. Demographic background (1945-present) (2) England and Wales, 2006 (ONS, 2007)

5 5 2. Theoretical framework and previous empirical research (1) Educational attainment is an important factor in explaining the timing of first births and change over time: b) Sociologists: c) Second demographic transition theory (e.g. Lesthaeghe, 1983, 1988): a) Economic models of fertility (e.g. Becker, 1981): opportunity costs of childbearing and childrearing education ~ earning potential incompatibility of motherhood and work education ~ labour market participation secularisation and individuation education ~ value orientations, preferences, aspirations

6 6 2. Theoretical framework and previous empirical research (2) Empirical research: - However, results are dependent on whether educational activity and the time elapsed since leaving the educational system are taken into account: positive relation between educational attainment and the timing of first births educational attainment -> delaying effect on the transition to parenthood educational activity: effect of educational attainment becomes insignificant or reverses time elapsed since leaving education: reversed effect of educational attainment: catch-up effect - Gender-specific effects?

7 7 3. Hypotheses (1) 1. Educational attainment: 2. Educational activity: There is a positive effect of educational level on the timing of the first birth. In other words, the lower educated are expected to accelerate the entry into parenthood, while the higher educated are expected to postpone the entry into parenthood There is a negative effect of enrolment in education on the rate of the entry into parenthood. In other words, the entry into parenthood will be postponed during the period of enrolment in education and will be accelerated once persons leave the educational system

8 8 3. Hypotheses (2) 3. The time elapsed since leaving education: There is a positive relation between educational attainment and the rate of acceleration into parenthood after finishing education. In other words, the time interval between leaving education and entering parenthood is expected to decrease as the educational level increases

9 9 4. Data and methodology (1) British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) Waves 1 to 15 ( ) Fertility: reconstructed first birth histories until the date of the last interview: retrospective: fertility histories collected in wave 2 prospective: first birth observed during the panel Education: highest educational qualification and the date of exit from the educational system (first exit): retrospective: employment histories collected in wave 2 prospective: exit observed during the panel Sample: women and men, birth cohorts , no missing information

10 10 4. Data and methodology (2) Discrete-time hazard model: Complementary log-log model (cloglog): discrete-time representation of a continuous-time proportional hazard model first births are measured in monthly intervals underlying process is in continuous time Risk set: age 14 until age 45 Right-censoring: No left-censoring month of occurrence of the first birth or, at the date of the last interview / month 45 th birthday

11 11 4. Data and methodology (3) Dependent variable: probability of a first birth Independent variables: enrolment in education: time-varying dummy variable, 1 indicating enrolment, 0 otherwise educational level: time-constant categorical variable with 6 categories time since leaving education: time-varying categorical variable with 11 categories Final sample size women = 4968 / number of first births = 3164 Final sample size men = 4666 / number of first births = 2468

12 12 5. Results (1)

13 13 5. Results (2)

14 14 5. Results (3): catch-up effect?

15 15 5. Results (4): catch-up effect?

16 16 6. Conclusions (1) Educational attainment Enrolment in education strong and positive effect of educational attainment on the timing of first births postponement effect is stronger among women than among men differences between groups of education are larger among women than among men strong and negative effect of enrolment in education on the rate of entry into parenthood effect of educational level on the hazard of first births does not change (no pure mechanical effect of educational attainment)

17 17 6. Conclusions (2) The time elapsed since leaving education monotonous increase in the rate of entry into parenthood until 10 to 12 years after leaving the educational system effect of educational level becomes smaller effect is stronger among men than among women catch-up effect among the higher educated after age 30


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