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The effect of education on women's propensity to be childless in Spain: Does the field of education matter?

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  • Teresa Martín-García
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    Abstract

    This article investigates the relationship between educational attainment, in terms of both level and field of education, and the probability of being childless in Spain. Findings demonstrate that there is a significant difference in childlessness by education level among women aged 34-50, while this significance disappears when the analysis is not confined to older women but includes all women (aged 18-50) and is controlled for heterogeneity. In this latter case, childlessness has more to do with later childbearing among young women than with the accumulation of human capital. However, women educated in those studies concerned with the care of individuals and/or emphasizing interpersonal skills have a lower probability of being childless than women in other fields of study, irrespective of their education level, in both samples. In addition, the results show that childlessness, departure from education and union formation are jointly determined. Young women who want to be childfree or end up being childless stay in school for a longer period of time and postpone their union formation, whilst those with strong family/fertility intentions accelerate the three processes. I use data from the Spanish Family and Fertility Survey (1995) and apply event history models that take into account unobserved heterogeneity.

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    File URL: http://www.carloalberto.org/assets/working-papers/no.114.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 114.

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    Length: 42 pages
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:114

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    Keywords: childlessness; education; field of study; Spain;

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    References

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    1. Pau Baizán Munoz & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2001. "Cohabitation, marriage, first birth: the interrelationship of family formation events in Spain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-036, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Luis Rosero-Bixby & Teresa Castro-Martín & Teresa Martín-García, 2009. "Is Latin America starting to retreat from early and universal childbearing?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 20(9), pages 169-194, February.
    3. Lucia Coppola, 2003. "Education and union formation as simultaneous processes in Italy and Spain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-026, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Lillard, Lee A., 1993. "Simultaneous equations for hazards : Marriage duration and fertility timing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 189-217, March.
    5. Dylan Kneale & Heather Joshi, 2008. "Postponement and childlessness - Evidence from two British cohorts," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(58), pages 1935-1968, November.
    6. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
    7. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    8. Esping-Andersen Gosta (ed.), 2007. "Family Formation and Family Dilemmas in Contemporary Europe," Books, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation, number 201178.
    9. Echávarri Aguinaga, Rebeca, 2009. "Education and the dynamics of family decisions," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-01, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
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