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Educational attainment and maternity in Spain: not only “when” but also “how”

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  • María Davia
  • Nuria Legazpe

Abstract

This paper describes how women with different human capital endowments behave differently with regard to the decision to bear their first child and disentangles the overall effects of education on the timing of the birth of the first child through a set of intervening variables. To do so, a decomposition technique that enables distinction between direct and indirect effects in logistic regressions is deployed. Education drives different fertility behavior patterns and delays fertility through several mechanisms: attachment to the labor market, non-traditional values, and the characteristics of the partner and the partnership. Nevertheless, the ability of the mechanisms explored in this study to explain the link between education and fertility timing is rather limited, and a large part of this relationship remains unexplained. In addition, we find evidence of differences across educational groups in the way women’s decisions to have their first child respond to several explanatory factors, which points at a structural change in the decision taking amongst women with different educational endowments. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • María Davia & Nuria Legazpe, 2015. "Educational attainment and maternity in Spain: not only “when” but also “how”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 871-900, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:13:y:2015:i:4:p:871-900
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-014-9249-6
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Human capital; Intervening variables; Duration analysis; Decomposition; J13; J16; J24;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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